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Invasive Plant to Avoid: Chinese Silver Grass

This week is National Invasive Species Awareness Week. Herring Run Nursery will be focusing each day on one invasive plant and a native alternative.

Don’t Plant: Chinese Silver Grass

You’ve probably seen Chinese Silver Grass (Miscanthus sinensis) in landscaping around parking lots or office buildings.  This grass is chosen by landscapers for its size and showy elegance.  However, with its vigorous roots and rhizomes, Chinese Silver Grass is an aggressive invasive that spreads into disturbed areas in huge clumps.  It is extremely flammable and increases the risk of wildfire.

Native Alternative: Switchgrass

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is one of the most valuable native grasses, and a no-brainer alternative to Chinese Silver Grass.  With a root system that grows nearly as deep as the the plant is tall, Switchgrass roots holds soil in place, preventing erosion caused by run-off and flooding.  With its plentiful small seeds and tall cover, Switchgrass offers a quality nesting place for birds.

We carry multiple varieties of Switchgrass at Herring Run Nursery, including ‘Heavy Metal’,’Dallas Blues’,and ‘Shenandoah.’ The Nursery will open for the Spring season on March 22nd, with weekend sales beginning on April 1st.

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