University of Nebraska

Data from K. Todd.

Here are the University of Nebraska’s National Ornamental Grass Trial data for 2013.NOGT-2013 University of Nebraska data

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Vermont 2013 data

To recap, 2013 was a lousy year in Vermont for many perennials, Panicum included.  Those that did survive the previous winter as shown on the link below, all of some, none or one of many, had to deal with a much cooler and wet first part of the summer, never really putting on much growth, and few in flower. There were only 12 days at or above 90degrees (F), about half that of previous years.  Almost one third of the summer reached 50 degrees or below at night (about normal).  Full climate data for this site can be found online:

With so few plants, and those living of poor vigor, many data parameters (as noted) were unable to be taken.  With so few plants of many cultivars living, this is noted next to data to give some perspective on the results, as is the variability when extreme within a cultivar for a measurement.  Bottom line– those with all surviving included Dust Devil, Northwind, Prairie Sky, and Rotstrahlbusch.  Of these, those with floral impact of 3 (highest rating) were Dust Devil and Rotstrahlbusch.  Both Warrior and Dallas Blues had no surviving plants after the first winter.

Schizachyrium fared much better with all 4 plants surviving except Carousel (3).  There were no plants of Jazz in the trial as they had not been provided.  Best floral impact was Blaze (5), with good impact (4) for Blue Heaven and The Blues.  There was minimal floral impact from Carousel and Prairie Blues.  The latter also had the poorest winter survival regrowth.  Plants of this genus were much less variable within each cultivar than those of Panicum.

Vermont growth data:  NOGT.Milton VT 2013

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North Carolina 2013 Grass Trial pictures and data

North Carolina grass trials 2013 data

So, this is finally my (Barb Fair) first blog. Thanks so much to Jane Rozum for helping put this all together finally. I had all kinds of trouble getting my blog up and running. You are the best, Jane.

So my first blog has a bunch of pictures of our grasses. They are also up in the media site where they are labeled. I will next figure out how to label them directly on the picture for your viewing ease!

Our favorites as you will see from the data were:



Cloud Nine





The Blues and

Minn Blue A

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North Carolina Ornamental Grass Trials

Rehbraun2 NC Rotstrahlbuschs NC Warrior NC Thunder Cloud NC Rehbraun NC Shenandoah NC The Blues NC Prairie Fire2 NC-Prairie Fire NC- Prairie Blues NC- Northwind NC- Minn Blue A2 NC- Minn Blue A NC Jazz NC Hot Rod (2) NC Heavy Metal NC Dust Devil NC Dewey Blue NC Dallas Blues5 NC- Prairie Blues (2) NC Cheyenne Sky NC Carousel NC Badlands2 NC Badlands

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Grass Trials Contains Info from Many States

This site contains information from 11 states that are trialing 22 cultivars and species of little bluestem and switchgrass. To find results from a specific state, type the state’s name in the Search box on the upper left of the home page.
Minnsesota Trials 2013

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Growth at Peak for Florida – August 2013

The link below reports the height and width of plants located in Fort Lauderdale (FLREC), Fort Pierce (IRREC) and Quincy (NFREC).  Data was recorded in August 2013.

Florida Growth at Peak Data August 2013

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More data from Florida – Ratings

The link below reports the average ratings for flower, plant form, landscape impact and pests.  Data is presented for Fort Lauderdale (FLREC), Fort Pierce (IRREC) and Quincy (NFREC).

Florida Ratings January 2014

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Data from Florida for 2013 – Spring Green Up

The link below reports the month when plants for each cultivar were green.  The sites are Fort Lauderdale (FLREC) Fort Pierce (IRREC) and Quincy (NFREC).
Florida Data January 2014

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Top Five from Florida

The trial gardens in Florida exist in four climate zones, ranging from the subtropical in Davie, tropical in Ft. Pierce, temperate in Balm and colder in the northern Quincy area.  The grasses in South Florida start to spring-up anywhere from March to May and peak in August to September.  They are exposed to cycles of wet/dry, extreme summer heat and high humidity, not always exhibiting the rich fall colors of the northern grasses.  Some of the top performers for Florida, based on plant form, landscape value and aesthetics are listed in the following chart:

FLREC (Davie)           USDA Zone 10b IRREC(Ft. Pierce)      USDA Zone 10a            GCREC(Balm) USDA Zone 9b NFREC(Quincy)       USDA Zone 8b
‘Heavy Metal’ ‘’Heavy Metal’ ‘Heavy Metal’ ‘Heavy Metal’
‘Prairie Fire’ ‘Rotstralbusch’ ‘Rotstralbusch’ ‘Rotstralbusch’
‘Shenandoah’ ‘Shenandoah’ ‘Shenandoah’ ‘Stuart’
‘Stuart’ ‘Stuart’ ‘Cheyenne Sky’ ‘Cheyenne Sky’
‘Thundercloud’ ‘Cloud Nine’ ‘Cloud Nine’ ‘Prairie Fire’
Prairie Fire 9.12.13

Prairie Fire 9.12.13

Shenandoah 9.12.13

Shenandoah 9.12.13

Heavy Metal 9.12.13

Heavy Metal 9.12.13

Thundercloud 7.24.13

Thundercloud 7.24.13

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Colorado State University – Top Performers 2013

Colorado State participated in the trials in 2013, taking final data measurements on October 2, 2013. Out of the 22 cultivars at our site, we noticed the following had outstanding characteristics, summarized by Landscape Impact Ratings (LIR), which indicate good vigor, foliage color, and flowering (if flowers should be present), with little or no disease or insect damage.  A LIR value of ‘5’ indicates outstanding characteristics; a value of ‘1’ indicates little or no ornamental value in the landscape.

1. Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’ – LIR=5

Pv 'Shenandoah'

Pv ‘Shenandoah’

2. 6-way tie: LIR=4.5

  • Panicum virgatum ‘Dallas Blues’
  • Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’
  • Panicum virgatum ‘Prairie Sky’
  • Panicum virgatum ‘Rotstrahlbusch’
  • Panicum virgatum ‘Thundercloud’
  • Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Blue Heaven’™
Pv 'Dallas Blues'

Pv ‘Dallas Blues’

Pv 'Northwind'

Pv ‘Northwind’

Pv 'Prairie Sky'

Pv ‘Prairie Sky’

Pv 'Rotstrahlbusch'

Pv ‘Rotstrahlbusch’

Pv 'Thundercloud'

Pv ‘Thundercloud’



Ss. 'Blue Heaven' (tm)

Ss. ‘Blue Heaven’ ™























In addition, the following ornamental grasses had the lowest LIR ratings at our site:

Tie, LIR=3:

  • Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Jazz’
  • Panicum virgatum ‘Hot Rod’
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