'Red October' Big Bluestem is an exciting color breakthrough for this tough native grass. The leaves are tipped with burgundy and held on tall upright green stems in summer. The fall the foliage turns a bright scarlet red for several weeks after the first frost. 'Red October' also has red turkey-foot-shaped seed, particularly showy when backlit. The sturdy upright stems are an attractive tan in winter. An important food source for winter birds. Introduced by Intrinsic Perennials.
PRN Preferred: Spring foliage emerges with reddish highlights, strong red fall color.
Broom-sedge or Beardgrass is a tough native grass that adds great beauty to sterile, dry meadows and open fields. The green upright stems take on shades of reddish-burgundy in September, as they are coming into flower. The seedheads are an airy silver displayed all along the grass stems, and are particularly stunning when backlit by afternoon light. The fall and winter color of the strong upright stems is a bright orange tan.
'Peppermint Stick' Giant Reed Grass has very wide green leaves that are vividly striped with white. The stems are heavy enough to look like bamboo. Michael Bowell, of Create a Scene in PA, loves it because it retains its variegation well in the heat of the summer, rather than turning into enormous looking horse corn.