Native Plant Database

Header Photo: Mervin Wallace

Switch Grass

Panicum virgatum
Plant Type: Grasses / Sedges / Rushes
Native Environment: Prairie
Season of Interest: Winter (Nov - Mar)
Main Color: Green
Fall Color: Yellow
Hardy From Zone: 5
Hardy To Zone: 9

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Hardiness Zones

Midwest map of zones 5 (north), 6, and 7 (south)

as defined by the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map; (hardiness zones are not recorded for all Grow Native! plants)
Sun Exposure 
Full Sun
Soil
Moisture
Dry, Moderate
Nature Attracting
Wildlife Benefit
Cover
Animal
Resistance
Deer Resistant, Rabbit Resistant
Size

Height:

3 to
6
feet

Spread:

2 to
5
feet
Size
Height: 3 to
6
feet
Spread: 2 to
5
feet
Size
Height: 3 to
6
feet
Spread: 2 to
5
feet
Typical Landscape Use
Grow in native gardens, wildflower meadows and prairies.
Establishment and Care Instructions
Grow in full sun in dry or moist soil.
Special Features
Special Usage
Basic Description

A clump-forming, columnar, warm season grass that grows 3 ft. tall with flower heads rising 3 ft. above the foliage. Medium green leaves turn yellow, sometimes with orange tints, in autumn, fading to tan in winter. Foliage is topped in mid-summer by finely-textured, pink-tinged, branched flower heads. Flower heads turn beige in fall with the seed plumes persisting well into winter. Birds feed on the seed and plants provide cover for wildlife. Sometimes spreads by rhizomes and seed.

Where Should I Start?

Check out the Grow Native! Committee’s Top Ten picks of native plants for a particular purpose.

What’s the Next Step?

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Where Can I Find This Plant in Nature?

Learn about the Native Environment(s) inhabited by the plants in this database.

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