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Panicum virgatum- Switch Grass

Sun Exposure: Sun, Part Sun

Soil Moisture: Medium-Wet, Medium, Medium-Dry, Dry

Soil Type: Sand, Loam, Clay

Height: 3 - 4 feet

Spread: 2 - 3 feet

Blooms: July, August, September

Root: Fibrous, Rhizomatous

Habitat: Prairies, Savannas, Open woodlands, Woodland borders, Sandy Shores, Dunes, Limestone glades, Wetland or river edges

Landscape uses: Meadow planting, Naturalization, Drought Tolerant, Salt Tolerant

Complimentary Plants: Smooth Aster, Stiff Goldenrod, Purple Coneflower

Wildlife Value: Several insects feed on this prairie grass. Birds feed on the seeds. Host Plant: Tawny-edge Skipper, Delaware Skipper, Leonard's Skipper, Indian Skipper, Hobomok Skipper, Northern Broken-Dash Skipper

Seed Origin: Winona, MN (Prairie Moon seed supplier)

Germination Code: A 


Photo credits: #1 by David J. Stang, #2 by David J. Stang, #3 by David J. Stang, #4 David J. Stang, #5 David J. Stang

Panicum virgatum- Switch Grass

  • Switch Grass is a dominant plant in our tallgrass prairie ecosystems. It is a warm season grass and grows in the summer, putting out a purple spray seed head that dries to golden in fall.  This plant stands tall and provides winter interest as it holds up to heavy snow fall.

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