(1992), Panicum virgatum has a long history on this continent. It's native to the tall grass prairies of the Great Plains from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean and along with big bluestem, little bluestem and Indian grass. It was grazed by herds of bison, deer and elk and can still be found growing in ‘remnant prairies’ and along interstates throughout much of North America.
I love the panicums and have many in my garden. ‘Northwind’ is without a doubt the most upright of all the cultivars that have been introduced in the last dozen years. That's probably been it's best selling feature, a tall grass that fits beautifully into small or larger gardens. What makes this grass especially attractive to me is its color change from summer through late winter.
|glowing in the afternoon sun|
Think of all the marvelous color changes you would miss and besides the critters need the shelter those golden/tawny/blonde blades offer them all winter.
Thank goodness it won't be long before they start greening up! I miss them terribly when I have to cut them back, but, before long the beautiful olive-blue green leaves will be back helping showcase Itea, the ex-asters, Vernonia, Juniperus, Rudbeckia, Phlox, River oats, Hypericums and the other rough and tumble wildflowers that make their home here at Clay and Limestone.
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Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.