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Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’
at Digging Dog

Panicum

Switch Grass

The Panicums we’ve chosen are warm season prairie grasses native to North America. Resistant to heat, drought, and even extreme cold, Switch Grass boasts a cloud of inflorescences—a mystifying hologram of tiny red seeds that mature to black in late summer.

If grown en masse and not cut back until early spring, Panicums promise a lively winter show. After a frost, they stiffen and adopt the warm glowing color and soft rustling sound of wheat.

Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ full sun  new plant

Claiming the coveted 2014 Plant of the Year award, ‘Northwind’s roots can be traced back to the railroad tracks near South Elgin, Illinois, where Roy Diblik collected some native Panicum seeds. Selected from those initial seedlings for its unique unwavering stature, this dashing straight-backed cultivar unleashes a narrow sky-bound clump of broad olive-colored blades with bluish green undersides. Gossamer-textured inflorescences hover just above the leaves, characterized by tiny yellow flowers and purple seed heads. Unsung among ornamental grasses and the most markedly vertical of the Switch grasses, it lends intriguing winter architecture and possesses a dogged determination that triumphs over drought, heavy downpours, varied soil conditions, pesky deer and foliar rust.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 4' 0"–6' 0" high x 2' 0"–2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 5.

Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ (G-0544)
Each $9.75
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Celebrated headliners of the late show!

Offering superb versatility, ornamental grasses become poetry in motion on gusty days. They are best situated so their fluid shimmering inflorescences, bathed in amber, sable or smoky rose and purple shades, are backlit and set aglow by the afternoon sunlight. Most look fantastic in fresh or dried arrangements, while others produce welcome seed heads that birds adore. Be sure to browse our online selections of ornamental grasses.

Plant for Outstanding October Oomph!

You may wish to include one or more of these easily grown herbaceous perennials, ornamental grasses, shrubs or trees that wield plenty of October flair.

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