Panicum virgatum 'Purple Tears' is a medium-size, ornamental grass with a clumping habit. The key characteristics that differentiate it from the parent species, are its shorter stature (topping off at about 4'), lighter green foliage that persists longer into the growing season, and gray-tipped flowering spikes that give way to purple seed heads in fall.
As with the straight species, 'Purple Tears' is adaptable to a wide range of soil types, and moisture levels ranging from wet to dry. It is best grown under full some, but it will tolerate some shade.
Discovered by non other than plantsman and designer Piet Oudolf as a chance seedling in his Hummelo nursery and gardens in the Netherlands, the parentage is likely Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah' which he had growing nearby. 'Purple Tears' was first introduced in the U.S. by our friends at Hoffman Nursery, North Carolina.
U.S. plant patent PP28,518