Details of...
Scientific Name: Panicum virgatum
Pronunciation: PAN-ih-kum vur-GAY-tum
Common Name: switch grass
Family Name: Poaceae
Plant Type: Poales (grass-like)
Key ID Features: Spikelets arranged in open panicles.
Course(s): HORT 2355, Level 4 Apprenticeship

Habit: Arching, Stiffly upright, Upright
Form: Oval - vertical
Texture: Medium - fine
Mature Size:
Height:0.7 - 1.3m
Spread:0.6 - 1.0m
Growth Rate:Fast
Origin: Mexico, North America
Hardiness Rating: Zone 4: (-34 to -29 C)
Exposure: Full sun
Soil/ Growing Medium: Humus rich, Rocky or gravelly or dry, Well-drained
Water Use: Low
Landscape Uses: Accent plant, Container planting, Cut flower or foliage, Fall interest, Group or mass planting, Mixed shrub border, Perennial border, Specimen plant, Summer interest, Wildlife food
Additional Info: Google. Culivars shown or on campus may include P. 'Heavy Metal' and P. 'Prairie Sky'. Compare to P. 'Rehbraun' (more arching, dark red in leaves, and not as tall).
switch grass
Leaf Morphology: Glossary
Form: Grass-like
Arrangement: Alternate, Basal
Texture/ Venation: Parallel venation, Soft flexible
Surfaces: Glabrous
Colour in Summer: Bluish, Red, Green
Colour in Fall: Yellow
Leaf(let) Terms:
Shapes: Linear
Apices: Acute
Bases: Sheathing
Margins: Serrulate

Inflorescence Type: Floriferous, Panicle-like, Spikelet
Flower Morphology:Flowers perfect
Number of Petals:0
Ovary Position:Superior
Colour (petals): Showy, Green
Flower Scent: None
Flower Time at Peak: Jul, Aug

Fruit Type: Grain (caryopsis)
Fruit Colour: Red, Green, Brown
Fruiting Time: Sep, Oct
Additional Info: Showy

Bark or Stem Colour:
Organ Modifications: Rhizomes

Propagation: Seed, Division - below ground parts
Pest Susceptibility: Deer resistant
(BCE) Boulevard (Circular) Eastend
(BUG) BUG garden : cv. Prairie Sky
(GRB) GRass Bed
(GRBE) GRass Bed East : cv. Heavy Metal q.1 (declining)
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