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Ruby Ribbons Switch Grass

Panicum virgatum 'Ruby Ribbons'

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Ruby Ribbons Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum 'Ruby Ribbons') at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Panicum virgatum 'Ruby Ribbons'

Panicum virgatum 'Ruby Ribbons'

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Ruby Ribbons Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum 'Ruby Ribbons') at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Panicum virgatum 'Ruby Ribbons' foliage

Panicum virgatum 'Ruby Ribbons' foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  3 feet

Flower Height:  4 feet

Spread:  30 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  3b


This colorful mid-sized selection forms an upright clump of blue green foliage that matures to coppery-red with deep purple tips; airy heads of mauve-pink flowers appear on plumes in summer; perfect as an accent or massed in borders

Ornamental Features

Ruby Ribbons Switch Grass features airy plumes of purple flowers with pink overtones rising above the foliage in late summer. Its attractive grassy leaves emerge bluish-green in spring, turning red in color with prominent deep purple tips. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous coppery-bronze in the fall. The brown seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from late summer to mid fall. The tan stems can be quite attractive.

Landscape Attributes

Ruby Ribbons Switch Grass is an herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cut back to the ground in late winter before active growth resumes. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Ruby Ribbons Switch Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Ruby Ribbons Switch Grass will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity extending to 4 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 30 inches. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Massing  Garden 
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Bark 
Ornamental Features