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Switchgrass
Panicum virgatum
Poaceae
 

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

General Landscape Uses: Accent grass.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.

Description: Medium to large herbaceous grass.

Dimensions: Typically 5-6 feet in height. Spreading from underground stems (rhizomes) and forming large patches.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Widespread in North America south to the Monroe County Keys; Bermuda, the West Indies (Cuba), Mexico, Central America and South America. In the Monroe County Keys, disjunct from Miami-Dade County to Big Pine Key and nearby islands.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Pinelands, coastal uplands and marshes.

Soils: Wet to moist, periodically inundated freshwater to brackish sandy or limestone soils, without humus.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Reddish-brown inflorescence.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous.

Flowering Season: Summer-fall.

Fruit: Inconspicuous caryopsis.

Wildlife and Ecology: Larval host plant for Delaware skipper and dotted skipper (Hesperia attalus) butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed and divisions.

Comments: A widely cultivated plant with many cultivars. Only local sources should be used.


Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Grasses, Sedges and Rushes of Palm Beach
and Martin Counties, Florida website.

Copyright by: Grasses, Sedges and Rushes of Palm Beach
and Martin Counties, Florida website.


Other data on Panicum virgatum available from:



 
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