Switch grass (Panicum plants)
Commonly known as switch grass, panicum is a long-lived, tough ornamental grass that is versatile and unfussy. Suitable for clay soils and salt laden air near coastal sites, it is a low maintenance variety with upright, almost reed-like to gently arching deciduous foliage, providing colour and interest in the autumn as the leaves fade to a coppery brown. It has a clump forming habit with flat, linear, purple-red tips in autumn and weeping panicles of tiny, pink-flushed flowers in late summer and early autumn. Perfect for adding vertical interest to garden borders. Switch grass is effective standalone or in groups and can be used as a specimen, as accent en masse in the perennial border or deployed to great effect in the rock garden against contrasting coloured stone. Taller varieties make a stunning screen or naturalistic backdrop to a seating or decked area, while it’s love of moisture makes it useful as a marginal plant close to garden ponds or lakes too. Grows best in full sun in a moist, fertile soil.