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ornamental grass

Shenandoah Switchgrass

Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah'

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Shenandoah Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah') at Gertens

Shenandoah Switchgrass

Shenandoah Switchgrass

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Shenandoah Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah') at Gertens

Shenandoah Switchgrass fruit

Shenandoah Switchgrass fruit

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  3 feet

Flower Height:  4 feet

Spread:  32 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Brand:  Gertens

Description:

Neat 3' clump; Foliage has dark purple tips in summer, with all foliage changing dark purple in fall; red flowers

Ornamental Features

Shenandoah Switchgrass features airy plumes of rose flowers rising above the foliage in mid summer. Its attractive grassy leaves are green in color with prominent ruby-red tips. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous burgundy in the fall. The brick red seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from late summer to mid fall. The brick red stems are very colorful and add to the overall interest of the plant.

Landscape Attributes

Shenandoah 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.

Shenandoah Switchgrass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Shenandoah Switchgrass will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity extending to 4 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 32 inches. 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  Massing  Garden 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Bark 
Ornamental Features