Switchgrass and little bluestem cultivars show performance variation across eight states in national grass trials

Mary H. Meyer, Barbara Fair, James E. Klett, Kimberly Moore, H. Brent Pemberton, Leonard Perry, Jane Rozum, Alan Shay, Matthew D. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Landscape plant evaluations were conducted in eight states: Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Vermont for 17 switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and five little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) cultivars. Additional locations in Florida (Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, Quincy, and Wimauma), Nebraska (Lincoln), and Lubbock and San Marcos completed 1 or 2 years of the trials. Plants were established in 2012 and data were collected for 3 years, 2013–15. Sites were asked to compile annual data on plant height, width, flowering time, fall color, pests, foliage color determined by the Royal Horticultural Society’s color chart, plant form, flowering date, floral impact, self-seeding, winter injury, landscape impact, and mortality. Texas A&M Agricultural Research and Extension Center (Overton), Florida (all four locations), and Vermont had the highest mortality rate. Southern Florida locations lost 50% of their plants by the end of 2014. Wide variation was reported for landscape impact, individual cultivar height, and width from different regions of the United States. Three of the 17 switchgrass cultivars, Cloud 9, Northwind, and Thundercloud, had a rating of 4.0 or higher averaged over six or more locations for plant form, floral, and landscape impact. ‘Shenandoah’ and ‘Warrior’ switchgrass had a rating of 4.0 or higher averaged over six or more locations for plant form and landscape impact, but not floral impact. Only one of the five little bluestem cultivars, Blue Heaven ® rated 4.0 or higher, for plant form and landscape impact when averaged over six or more locations. This range of variability in landscape plant performance demonstrates the importance of local plant evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-738
Number of pages8
JournalHortTechnology
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Landscape grasses
  • Native grasses
  • Ornamental grasses
  • Panicum virgatum
  • Schizachyrium scoparium

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Switchgrass and little bluestem cultivars show performance variation across eight states in national grass trials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this