Panicum virgatum “Rotstrahlbusch” is a well-behaved grass in the garden, with attractive colors. (Richie Steffens / Great Plant Picks)

Panicum virgatum “Rotstrahlbusch” is a well-behaved grass in the garden, with attractive colors. (Richie Steffens / Great Plant Picks)

Great plant picks

Panicum virgatum “Rotstrahlbusch” is one of the best red-foliaged grasses for the landscape. It has a more compact habit and upright form than other switch grass selections, only growing to about 3 feet tall. The red tones on the leaf blades hold from early summer through fall, climaxing to rich crimson in autumn. This perennial, deciduous grass creates a fine-textured clump and is topped with a haze of beautiful burgundy seed heads in late summer. It is a well-behaved grass and will not seed around in the garden, making it an excellent substitute for the more aggressive spreading Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica “Rubra”). Mix with warm colors like orange and red, or go for a contrast with brilliant purples. It makes a good specimen but also creates a bold statement in a drift. It is a great companion for fall-blooming asters and sedums. The German cultivar name translates loosely as “red-ray-bush.”

Size: 3 feet high by 2 feet wide.

Where: full sun

Water: occasional watering

— Richie Steffens, Great Plant Picks

Talk to us

More in Life

Darlene Love, Steven Van Zandt and Paul Shaffer  performed in concert at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park on Sept. 12, 2015.
Pandemic’s not stopping Christmas Queen Darlene Love

The singer best known for “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” will perform her annual holiday concert online this year.

A gardener’s to-do list for winterizing the yard — Part 2

Try to accomplish most of these chores, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get them all done.

Caleb Sanders and Ashley Dougherty help decorate for the Trees of Christmas event at the Everett Bible Baptist Church. (Maria Lara)
Church keeps Christmas tradition alive with drive-thru event

Everett Bible Baptist Church hosts Trees of Christmas, with music, narration and special treats for the family.

Mexican sedum is an excellent groundcover plant, forming a dense carpet of glossy chartreuse leaves. (Richie Steffen)
Great Plant Pick: Sedum kimnachii aka Mexican sedum

An excellent groundcover plant, this variety forms a flat, dense carpet of glossy chartreuse leaves.

Make holidays brighter with energy saving tips and gifts

Snohomish County PUD shares five smart ways to find joy in the season that use less electricity.

John Spadam owner, at Spada Farmhouse Brewery in Snohomish. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Spada ready to show off new bar and restaurant in Snohomish

During the pandemic, the Spada family has been busy renovating an old building on First Street.

Precept Wine, the largest privately-owned wine company in Washington, recruited Seattle native Sarah Cabot to take over its pinot noir production in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 2014. (Precept Wine)
Six examples of award-winning pinot noir in the Northwest

The Willamette Valley of Oregon has a reputation for the red wine, but there are other success stories in the area.

To deposit a coin in the Bonzo bank, you had to push his tummy. His tongue would come out of his mouth to deposit the coin inside. Many similar banks were made picturing other comic characters. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
Mechanical bank of the first famous Bonzo sells for $1,800

The dog decorating the front of the tin bank was a comic cartoon star from the 1920s to the 1940s.

Design elements of the M235i Gran Coupe include angled headlights, four-eyed halo daytime running lights, and BMW’s traditional kidney grille. (Manufacturer photo)
BMW’s compact 2 Series Gran Coupe is all new to the 2020 lineup

A turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive, and 8-speed automatic transmission are standard on both versions.

Most Read