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Panicum virgatum 'Thundercloud'

switchgrass

When you need a tall accent, look no further than Thundercloud. This beautiful, blue green grass reaches 7-8’ tall and stays upright no matter what. In late summer, a plethora of pinkish-tan, airy panicles are produced just above the foliage. This provides important cover for birds during the coldest days of winter. From a design stand point this is a very versatile plant that can be used as a specimen, in masses, as an informal hedge and in rain gardens. 

Benefits

  • Provides nest sites, protective cover and food for birds
  • Towering height make it a great backdrop, specimen, or screening plant
  • Suitable for rain gardens
  • Can be used in dried flower arrangements
  • Unpalatable to deer
  • Essential larval host for most banded skippers and satyrs

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Grows easily in full sun. Plant in average to dry soil. Leave foliage in place for winter interest and to provide homes for over-wintering wildlife. Cut back to the ground in late winter before new growth begins.


Height
7-8 ft

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Spread
4-5 ft

USDA Hardiness Zone Zone 4-9

Native Range

Woodlands edge, breaks, fields, marshes, prairies and roadsides; Nova Scotia to Manitoba south to New Mexico and Florida.

Native Trivia

Clumping grasses like this are also known as bunch grasses. Use these grasses en masse mixed with meadow shrubs to provide ideal wildlife habitat. This kind of layout provides protective cover, quality nesting areas and food for birds and insects.

 

Patent Number: PP20665

Characteristics & Attributes

Sun
Beneficial insects
Butterflies
Songbirds
Deer Resistant
Plan Sub Group
Medium to Tall Grasses
Soil
Heavy clay
Well-drained
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Dry
Moist
Moist but well-drained
Attracts Wildlife
Mammals
Bloom Time
Late Summer
Habitat Collection
Butterfly
Songbird
Native Habitat
Grassland
Foliage Color
Blue-green
Green
Uses
Accent
Border
Container
Cut or dried flower
Drought tolerant
Erosion control
Hedge, screen
Mass plant
Meadow
Naturalizes
Salt tolerant
Specimen
Wind tolerant
Native to
Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming