Panicum virgatum

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Common Name: Switch Grass

Full to part sun, moderately wet to dry moisture level, best on sandy to clay loams and does poorly on heavy soils.  3-6 feet height, blooms late summer into fall, pink flowers, spreads steadily into colonies by both rhizomes and re-seeding.

Germination Code:  A

Native Region:  Statewide

A warm-season clump-forming grass widely grown as an ornamental.   One of our most valuable native grasses and adapted to a wide range of sites.  Easy to grow.  Tends to flop in rich soils.  Has a number of cultivars, including ‘Dacotah’, ‘Hanse Herms’, ‘Heavy Metal’, ‘Northwind’, ‘Rotstrahlbusch’, ‘Shenandoah’, ‘Squaw’, and ‘Sunburst.’  Attracts songbirds, game birds and butterflies.

Switch Grass - Panicum virgatum 3
Photo Courtesy of John Hilty
Switch Grass - Panicum virgatum
Photo Courtesy of John Hilty