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ornamental grass

North Wind Switchgrass

Panicum virgatum 'Northwind'

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North Wind Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum 'Northwind') at Gertens

North Wind Switchgrass

North Wind Switchgrass

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

North Wind Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum 'Northwind') at Gertens

North Wind Switchgrass in fall

North Wind Switchgrass in fall

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

North Wind Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum 'Northwind') at Gertens

North Wind Switchgrass in bloom

North Wind Switchgrass in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Brand:  Gertens

Description:

Grey-green, sturdy upright selection with substantial thick, wide foliage

Ornamental Features

North Wind Switchgrass features airy plumes of rose flowers rising above the foliage in mid summer. Its attractive grassy leaves are olive green in color. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous gold in the fall. The brick red seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from late summer to mid fall. The tan stems can be quite attractive.

Landscape Attributes

North Wind Switchgrass is an herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cut back to the ground in late winter before active growth resumes. It has no significant negative characteristics.

North Wind Switchgrass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Vertical Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

North Wind Switchgrass will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

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Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Accent  Articulation  Massing  Garden 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Plant Form  Bark 
Ornamental Features