The Answer: Shenandoah Switch Grass Panicum virgatum
This is one of the grand original grasses of our native tallgrass prairie. And today, of all the cultivars of the native "Panicums", this is one of the best. "Shenandoah" is unmatched for burgundy fall color, and in fact, is decorative all season long. In spring, the foliage starts out a bluish-green, and by mid-summer develops glowing burgundy red tips. By fall, the "red" coloring is complete. And like all switch grasses, the elegant, complex plume is highly decorative.
It tops out at four feet, up to five when in bloom, and can take almost any conditions from dry to wet.
This decorative grass is wonderful in wildflower plantings, along driveways, anywhere you want a tall specimen of handsome grass and plumes.