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Panicum virgatum 'Cardinal'

Price:  £5.00

Family:  Poaceae
Main Season:  Autumn
Flower Colour:  Red
Leaf Colour:  Blue/grey/silver
Position:  Sun
Soil Type:  Ordinary, medium loam
Height:  60cm to 90cm (2' to 3')
Pot Size:  1.4L



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A great new introduction which makes tight clumps of upright stems, grey leaves and open panicles of grey flowers tinged red. Good red-purple autumn foliage colour. Ordinary soil in full sun. 90cm.

Panicum virgatum 'Cardinal' is a good modern choice offering the best of both worlds in the compact Panicum varieties.  It has good steel grey foliage and stems with the strict upright habit of the older variety 'Heavy Metal' but is more reliable and more vigorous than that variety.  The upright flower panicles are more generous and slightly more dainty but have similar colouring to the older variety too.  Overall it does't have quite the same blueish tint but is a better garden plant.

'Cardinal' has it's origins in Holland which seems to make it a better choice than some of the American selections and it is well suited to the maritime climate in the UK.  Perfectly hardy, it will keep it's stems and seedheads well into winter most years giving a good contrast to dark seedheads of perennials like Monarda, Sedum and Veronicastrum.  Best in ordinary soil that is not to any extreme (Wet/Dry, Sand/Clay etc) and in full sun.  Any shade will cause weakening of the stems.

From Hans Mesker in Holland c. 2010.

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