Botanical: Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal'
Common: Switch Grass
General Characteristics: Ornamental Grasses are gaining in popularity all over the U.S. due to their undemanding nature and long lasting, year round beauty. There is nothing that adds such interesting forms, textures and movement to a garden, than with this diverse plant group. They can be planted along banks of ponds, incorporated into perennial gardens, grouped together, utilized as a ground cover along walkways, paths or on steep banks. They aren't fussy about soil requirements, are drought tolerant as well as insect and disease resistant.
Tip: Generally best in full sun. Will grow in part shade, but begins to lose its columnar form in too much shade, growing more openly and possibly falling over. Grows primarily in clumps, but may infrequently spread by rhizomes. Also may self-seed in optimum growing conditions, however, 'Heavy Metal' does not come true from seed and self-seeded plants may be best removed from a planting to preserve the uniformity of the foliage color. Cut back clumps to the ground in late winter to early spring.
Use: Accent, group or mass. Also effective as a screen. Perennial borders, wild gardens, native plant gardens, prairies, meadows or naturalized areas. Also appropriate for water gardens and bog gardens.