Best Ornamental Grasses for Midwest Gardens
Switchgrass is a native grass that is becoming popular in landscapes. The perennial offers airy plumes in late summer and fall. In late summer, lightly branched spikelets appear above the foliage for more altitude. 'Heavy Metal' and 'Shenandoah' have dark metallic summer foliage and reddish fall color. 'Dallas Blues' has blue-gray summer foliage that also turns orange-red in fall. The open plumes of 'Strictum' begin to bloom earlier than other cultivars, but remain showy throughout the season. Some self-seed freely.
Size: 2-5 feet tall and 9 inches to 3-1/2 feet wide, depending on variety
Conditions: full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil, withstands heat
Best for: attracting wildlife and fall color