Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’

Heavy Metal Blue Switch Grass
Plant Type

Grass-like, Shrub



Overall Mature Size


Mature Height & Spread

3-4′ x 2-3′


Full to partial sun


Medium Water

Flower Color


Bloom Time


Special Features

Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Coastal Conditions, Fall Color, Low Water Use

Container Sizes


Natural Growth Habit


Sunset Garden Zones

1-11, 14-23

Minimum USDA Hardiness Zone


Fast-growing, clumping ornamental grass native to the American prairies. Growing to 3-4’ tall x 2-3′ wide, this variety features strongly-upright-growing, bluish-gray foliage accented with airy-looking, pink-tinged flower plumes that rise above the foliage in mid to late-summer. Flowers are followed by small, clustered seed heads that persist into winter providing food for various species of birds. Tolerates wind and a wide variety of soil conditions from moist to dry, though less irrigation will produce a smaller-growing plant. Adding further appeal to this low-maintenance variety is the lovely fall foliage color in shades of yellow and tan. Great for planting in mass in native or wild gardens and its fibrous root system is ideal for helping to control soil erosion. Thrives in a full to partial sun exposure.

USDA Zone: 4A-10A
Sunset Zone: 1-11, 14-23

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