True prairie grasses from North America, tight clump formers for drained soil in sun. Lovely late summer flowers and autumn foliage. Like Miscanthus they need to be cut back to near ground level in March.
Panicums (or Panic Grasses) are probably the second most popular genus of grasses that we grow. They have many of the advantages of Miscanthus but are generally on a smaller scale and some would say less intimidating for a novice grass gardener! Panicum mostly make neat clumps of more or less upright stems with their flower panicles on the top from late summer into late autumn. Many forms, particularly of Panicum virgatum, have very attractive autumn foliage colour.
Not all forms will do well for every site. Generally those with green leaves and red or purple autumn foliage, and those with grey leaves and yellow autumn foliage are the toughest. We find that those with grey summer leaf and red or purple autumn foliage tend to be the weakest growers though they will still do well for some!
All forms we grow are winter hardy (with us to at least -15oC) and are perennial.
An upland type selected in North Carolina in 2006 as a restoration and forage plant. We are trying it as a larger mostly green leaved form with big heads of airy flowers in autumn. Potentially 2m+ tall. Good soil in sun, clumps.
Recent introduction from the USA. Broad blue-grey foliage and pinkish flowers to 1.8m+. Very upright habit and super yellow autumn foliage colour turns warm buff throughout winter. Average soil in sun.
A compact form with greyish green leaves turning rusty red in autumn from the tips towards the stems. Clouds of red tinged airy flowers from August and good seedheads into winter. Ordinary soil in full sun. 90cm.
An excellent compact plant with greyish green summer foliage and an upright habit topped with airy heads of reddish flowers in autumn. Blood red-purple autumn foliage colour is the main feature. Ordinary soil in full sun. 75cm.
Clumps of upright stems clothed with deep green leaves that turn purplish red in autumn. The clump topped with sprays (panicles) of ruby red flowers from August. An excellent ornamental grass for autumn effect in ordinary soil in sun.