Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Panicum virgatum L.
Switchgrass, Wand panic grass
Poaceae (Grass Family)
Clump-forming, warm-season grass with open, lacy sprays with small seeds, Aug-Oct. Purple stigmas at flowering time. Switchgrass is a 3-6 ft., rhizomatous, loose sod former with a large, open, finely textured, reddish-purple seedhead. Fall color is pale yellow. Bright green leaves occur up and down the stem,
turning bright yellow in fall. Switchgrass is a perennial. Grows in large clumps, with many persistent, curly leaves.
Switchgrass is one of the dominant species of the tallgrass prairie, but also grows along roadsides where moisture is present. The rich, yellow-colored clumps last throughout the winter.
Image Gallery: 23 photo(s) available
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
Bloom Notes: Pollinated by wind.
AL , AZ , AR , CO , CT , DE , FL , GA , HI , ID , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , MT , NE , NV , NH , NJ , NM , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VT , VA , WV , WI , WY , DC Canada: MB
, SK Native Distribution:
Que. to Sask. & MT, s. through FL to Cuba, & through all but the westernmost US, continuing through much of Mexico to Central America. Most common in the central plains of North America. Native Habitat:
Dry or moist prairies; bluffs; stream banks; open woods. In moist and seasonally damp open places throughout Texas, except for Trans-Pecos. Sand, loam, clay, limestone; poor drainage okay. USDA Native Status: L48(N), HI(I), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Moist , Dry CaCO3 Tolerance:
Low Soil Description:
Dry to moist soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam Clay Loam, Clay, Limestone-based. Conditions Comments:
Clump-forming, warm-season grass with open, lacy sprays with small seeds. Switchgrass is a loose sod former with a large, open, finely textured, reddish-purple seedhead. Bright green leaves occur up and down the stem,
turning bright yellow in fall.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Attractive, Fall conspicuous, Pocket prairie, Grows in clumps, Accent
Use Wildlife: Fair Grazing; Seeds eaten by ground-feeding songbirds and game birds; Provides cover and nesting material.
Use Other: Used for range re-seeding.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Delaware Skipper.
The Grass Family is an essential larval host for most banded skippers and most of the satyrs.
Deer Resistant: High
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for: