Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Switch Grass
Give a thumbs up Switchgrass
Give a thumbs up Wand panic grass

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 5 to 6 feet
Plant Spread: 2 to 3 feet (60-90cm)
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Deciduous
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Fall
Late fall or early winter
Inflorescence Height: 5 to 6 feet (150-180cm)
Foliage Mound Height: 30 to 36 inches (75-90cm)
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Dried Flower
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Resistances: Fire Resistant

top of plant

Photo gallery:
Location: West Valley City, UTDate: 2016-08-31
By Zencat
Give a thumbs up
Location: Green Hills Preserve, south of Reading, PADate: 2018-07-19top of plant
By ILPARW
Give a thumbs up
Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
By admin
Give a thumbs up
Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
By admin
Give a thumbs up
Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
By Joy
Give a thumbs up
Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
By Joy
Give a thumbs up
Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
By Joy
Give a thumbs up
Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
By Joy
Give a thumbs up
Location: Blinky Lee Land Preserve in southeast PADate: 2015-08-15the wild straight species
By ILPARW
Give a thumbs up
Location: Blinky Lee Land Preserve in southeast PADate: 2015-08-15close shot of the wild straight species
By ILPARW
Give a thumbs up
Location: southern New JerseyDate: 2013-08-10the wild straight species near creek
By ILPARW
Give a thumbs up
Location: Bear Creek Preserve in northern pennsylvaniaDate: 2016-09-14the straight species
By ILPARW
Give a thumbs up

Comments:
Posted by Catmint20906 (Maryland - Zone 7a) on Aug 3, 2014 2:23 PM

Panicum virgatum is a larval host plant for a variety of Skipper butterflies, including the Delaware Skipper and Leonard's Skipper.

Its seeds benefit ground-feeding songbirds and game birds, while the leaves provide cover and nesting material.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Feb 8, 2018 8:50 PM

This is one of the major prairie grasses of the Midwest and of meadows of the East in the US. However, settlement, agriculture and development has made the original prairie and native meadow areas much smaller of their original space, and some European grasses as Kentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescue, and Perennial Ryegrass has taken over most meadows as the major grass species. Common Switchgrass is used a lot in native meadow and prairie restorations by conservation organizations. The mother species is sold by a good number of native plant nurseries. Many conventional nurseries sell several of cultivars of this species that have more blue-colored foliage or that have blades with red tips. This grass has nice airy flower-seed inflorescences and the plant is soft to the touch with a fine texture. It does well at standing up straight. It is easy to transplant and to divide. It is a clump that slowly spreads wider. The foliage looks good in the garden or landscape during the whole winter. Cut it down in early spring. I like to light a fire to the cut crown at about 4 inches high and it helps rejuvenate this prairie species. It is a warm season grass, so it does not pop up in growth until in May. It is a lovely and easy grass.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Looking for seeds of Centranthus ruber Alba (White Form)... by wcgypsy May 14, 2017 6:36 AM 4
Growing grass on an Island by jetburke Apr 27, 2017 9:53 AM 8
ID/Care Instructions by Lakewood Apr 8, 2017 9:56 AM 7
RE: Help me identify Switchgrass by Dovey Sep 27, 2016 9:20 AM 2
Have to Trade... by wcgypsy Dec 8, 2015 9:55 PM 2
What grass? by wildflowers Oct 2, 2014 6:38 AM 5
Garden Chat and Photos by Catmint20906 Jan 2, 2016 11:47 AM 3,043
Salt tolerant plants by eclayne Feb 8, 2013 9:39 PM 130

« Add a new plant to the database

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by ge1836 and is called "Alteri Lily"