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Walla Walla Nursery

Shenandoah Switch Grass

Shenandoah Switch Grass

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Shenandoah Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah') is a warm-season ornamental grass that is native to North America. It is a cultivar of the common switchgrass, which is a tall, clumping grass that grows in prairies, savannas, and other open habitats.

Shenandoah Switch Grass typically grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) and has a spread of about 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 0.9 meters). Its leaves are long and narrow, reaching up to 3 feet (0.9 meters) in length, and are green with a reddish tint in the early season that turns a deep burgundy-red as the season progresses. The foliage also has a slightly upright habit, which gives it a neat and tidy appearance in the garden.

In mid-summer, Shenandoah Switch Grass produces tall, airy panicles of pinkish-red flowers that rise above the foliage on slender stems, reaching up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) in height. The flowers mature to a light tan color in fall and persist throughout the winter, providing visual interest and food for birds.

Shenandoah Switch Grass is a low-maintenance plant that is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions. It is adaptable to various soil types, including clay and sandy soils, and is drought-tolerant once established. It prefers full sun to part shade and is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9. It is often used in mass plantings, as a specimen plant, or as a naturalistic addition to a mixed border or meadow garden.

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