Panicum virgatum

Common name: Switch Grass

Native plant

Switch grass is a beautiful grass at all times, but it really comes into its own in late summer into winter. The 30” (plus or minus) seed heads will turn a lovely shade of yellow/orange and are held aloft by very stout stems that can support a surprising amount of snow. So fall and winter interest is very high with this plant. We have used it in grassy borders between homes where homeowners do not want to “plant” a fence, and it does the job nicely. It can become aggressive on wetter sites, but this can be desirable. Beware of the many, many selections of the Panicum genus because some of them do not hold their color well.  This plant is at home on the edges of moist areas of all kinds throughout the area. 


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Price Level: 
Perennial- Standard
Sizing Options: 
Flat of 32 (plugs)
Flat of 18 (pints)
1 Gallon


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Plant Details

Plant type

Grasses, Sedges and Rushes

Soil type

Mesic (Not too Wet Not too Dry), Moist Mesic, Wet

Light exposure

Full Sun, Partial Sun / Part Shade

Bloom period


Urban environment

Uncompacted Urban Soils, Harsh Exposure Tolerant, Compacted/New Construction Soils, Yards that Flood


Prairie Grasslands

Growth form

Shrubby/Clump, Colonizing / Spreading

Growth rate


Flower color

Yellow Orange

Fall color



Mature height
3 Feet
Mature width
1 Inches
Max height
5 Feet
Max width
1 Inches

Additional information

Loved by birds

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