Panicum virgatum Thundercloud

available late May

Panicum virgatum Thundercloud photo courtesy of Walters Gardens

Switch Grass

About This Grass

If you are looking for a large specimen grass, this is one of the best. From hybridizer Gary Trucks of Amber Wave Gardens in Michigan, Panicum 'Thundercloud is a very large switch grass that grows to a height of 2 plus meters when mature. Yet the blue-green foliage remains very upright and does not flop over in windy, rainy conditions. In late summer, a plethora of pinkish-tan, airy panicles are produced just above the foliage. This grass is effective as a specimen, massed or used for screening. It remains upright over the winter providing shelter for birds as well as a food source.

  • Height: 213 - 244 cm (7-8 ft)
  • Spread: 76 - 91 cm (30-36 in)
  • Cold Hardiness: zone 4
  • Sun or Shade: Sun
  • Bloom Time: late Summer
  • Leaf Colour: blue-green
  • Bloom Colour: pinkish-tan
  • Critter Resistance: deer and rabbits
  • 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.