(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Panicum virgatum. This is what caught my attention when reading Aaron's post on Gwen Calderon's apartment on the UWS apartment and the ways in which space was used.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )
Out on the patio this special plant was chosen to act as a screen. Learn more about it after the jump...

Panicum virgatum is a switch grass, from the prairies. It is not fancy, doesn't complain much, just needs the sun and a little water. And in return one gets a lush screen of green blades a few feet high, which then blooms in late summer and stays on through the winter after it dies.

"The apartment’s best feature is its 1,000 square feet of outdoor space: a small south-facing dining terrace off the living room, and an enormous north-facing terrace connected to both bedrooms...

She hired a professional to design the garden and sprinkler system. After two decades of misfires, she knew what she wanted. “I was envisioning a prairie,” she said. “I wanted masses of color and tall grasses that would blow in the wind.”

The grass chosen by Michael Franco, a designer at Town and Gardens, was a switch grass, Panicum virgatum, also known as Cloud Nine, which seems quite apt. “The grasses are sensational,” she said. “As the summer progresses, they bloom. They stay all winter as a screen.”

The entire article can be found on the NY Times website.

Wikipedia has an entry that gives basic information on Panicum virgatum.

matt at apartment therapy dot com

Images: Annie Tritt for The New York Times