Panicum virgatum Purple Tears
 Panicum 'Purple Tears'

Switch Grass

About This Grass

Renowned plantsman and designer Piet Oudolf found and introduced this switch grass that is destined to ecome a classic. He discovered this selection of a North American native in a nursery plot in Hummelo, Netherlands. Panicum virgatum ‘Purple Tears’ has beautiful seedheads starting with tiny reddish seeds in August which mature to shades of smoky purple and then tan as fall progresses. The green stems are upright and hold up well under winter conditions. With a manageable height of 120 cm, its narrow, upright habit make it perfect for a range of landscape applications. It has the same toughness and adaptability you’ll find in other Switchgrass cultivars.

  • Height: 120 cm (4 ft)
  • Spread: 60-91 cm (24-36 in)
  • Sun or Shade: minimum 4 hours of full sun
  • Bloom Time: late summer to fall
  • Leaf Colour: green
  • Bloom Colour: smoky purple
  • Critter Resistance: deer
  • Nature Attraction: birds

Growing and Maintenance Tips

Panicum is a very easy native grass that is adaptable to a wide range of conditions. It prefers moist, fertile soil but will grow in any soil from sand to clay. It is drought tolerant once established. It will perform best in full sun, flopping over if it gets too much shade. It is tolerant of wind and salt making it a good choice for a more exposed site or an area that might be salted in the winter.