I think it all started when I read The Obsessive Neurotic Gardener, a gardening blog whose author was particularly enamored of ornamental grasses.
He introduced me to a cultivar called P. virgatum 'Northwind', which not only has metallic green leaves, but looked quite stunning because it grew straight up and did not tend to flop after awhile.
|P, virgatum "Northwind"|
|"Thundercloud" to the left, and "Northwind" to the right|
I also bought one of the crosses made using P. virgatum " Northwind" (with the tall cultivar P. virgatum "Cloud Nine") by Hoffman Nurseries, one of the premier ornamental grass suppliers here in the USA.
P. virgatum "Thundercloud" attains a height of about 2.5 meters, with bluish leaves and the usual airy cloud of panicles. I got it this Spring, and it shot up to 1.3 meters this year (1.5 m with the panicles), easily overshadowing the more diminutive "Northwind". I can't wait to see how it does next year, although I have some concerns about the availability of growing space!
|P. virgatum during winter|