Native Plant Trust

Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal'

Heavy Metal panic switchgrass

Possibly the most widely planted native grass in America, Panicum virgatum is a reliable and attractive rhizomatous plant, supplying dense vertical structure that blows attractively in the breeze and bears delicate red seed heads above the stem starting in late summer. This species is extremely versatile, and will grow in any soil, from fast-draining sand to heavy clay. 'Heavy Metal' has a very strong, upright habit, along with a metallic blueish tinge along the length of the blades. This is among the oldest cultivars of panic switch-grass, first introduced by Kurt Bluemel in Maryland during the 1980's. Plant in masses for visual interest well into winter on sunny borders and corners.

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Height: 4-5 ft
Spread: 1-2 ft
Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Characteristics & Attributes

Cultivation Status
Soil Moisture
Not Ecotypic in New England
Ornamental Interest
Summer Bloom
Attracts Wildlife
Host Plant
Drought Tolerant
Deer/Rabbit Resistant
Salt Tolerant
Additional Attributes
Erosion Control/Soil Stabilization
Low Maintenance
Landscape Use

North American Distribution

Heavy Metal panic switchgrass - Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal' from Native Plant Trust