Panicum virgatum 'Thundercloud' - switchgrass
Panicum virgatum 'Thundercloud' - switchgrass
Panicum virgatum 'Thundercloud' - switchgrass

Panicum virgatum 'Thundercloud' - switchgrass

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Butterfly FriendlyDeer Resistant
DESCRIPTION
switchgrass
Panicum virgatum 'Thundercloud'

When you need a tall accent, look no further than Thundercloud. This beautiful, blue green grass reaches 7-8’ tall and stays upright no matter what. In late summer, a plethora of pinkish-tan, airy panicles are produced just above the foliage. This provides important cover for birds during the coldest days of winter. From a design stand point this is a very versatile plant that can be used as a specimen, in masses, as an informal hedge and in rain gardens. 

BENEFITS
  • Provides nest sites, protective cover and food for birds
  • Towering height make it a great backdrop, specimen, or screening plant
  • Suitable for rain gardens
  • Can be used in dried flower arrangements
  • Unpalatable to deer
  • Essential larval host for most banded skippers and satyrs
NATIVE INFO

Native Range

Woodlands edge, breaks, fields, marshes, prairies and roadsides; Nova Scotia to Manitoba south to Nevada and Florida.

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
MAP KEY: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)

INTERESTING FACTS
 

Clumping grasses like this are also known as bunch grasses. Use these grasses en masse mixed with meadow shrubs to provide ideal wildlife habitat. This kind of layout provides protective cover, quality nesting areas and food for birds and insects.

 

 

GROWING TIPS

 

Grows easily in full sun. Plant in average to dry soil. Leave foliage in place for winter interest and to provide homes for over-wintering wildlife. Cut back to the ground in late winter before new growth begins.

 

Mature Size: 7-8' Tall x 4-5' Wide

Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade

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    American Beauties Offer Solution Based Plant Collections to Help you Choose

    Quick Tips for Choosing Plants:

    • Planting a variety of native trees, shrubs, perennials and vines increases biodiversity and gives wildlife a source for food, cover and nesting
    • Choose a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees so birds and other wildlife will always be able to find shelter
    • Plant trees and large shrubs where they will block winter winds from the house and shade it in summer, that will save energy and lower your carbon footprint
    • Try your best to buy plants that were grown locally, your independent garden center will be your best bet
    • Think about ultimate height and width of the plant you choose, make sure it will fit the space you have for it when it's reached maturity
    • Plant nectar plants in groups, to attract butterflies and other beneficial insects more easily
    • Ask for help if you need it. Most garden centers either have a landscape designer on staff or they can give you a reference of a designer that is adept at native plant wildlife gardening. There will be upfront costs but they are small when compared to having to redo a landscape that wasn't what you really wanted

    Our Plant Tags Hold the Secrets to Success

    Choosing the right plants for your garden can seem like a daunting task but we’re here to help. Our horticulturists have spent a considerable amount of time researching and writing our beautiful, American Beauties plant tags to help you be successful. First of all, when you see an American Beauties branded pot at your garden center you can be confident that the plant is native to your area and a responsible choice. 

    When you look at our tag you’ll find information about the plants natural habitat. That will give you a clue to how it will work in your backyard. For instance if the plant is naturally founded and moist, shade and you have full sun, it’s not the plant for you. The “Features” section gives you an overview or plant description so you’ll know what to expect. While the “Benefits” section talks about the plants strong suits and how the plant will benefit wildlife. 

    A Special Note About Exposure

    Full sun: Prefers six or more hours of direct sunshine a day
    Partial shade: Thrives in three to six hours of daily sunshine
    Shade: Generally does well with less than three hours of sun per day. Having said that even shade loving plants will struggle in extremely deep shade.

    DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES

    Best Plants for Bees - Double sided printout for download

    Best Plants for Butterflies - Double sided printout for download

    Best Plants for Birds - Double sided printout for download


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