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Panicum virgatum

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.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

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 significant 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 (Anatrytone logan) and dotted skipper (Hesperia attalus) butterflies. Attracts pollinators.

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: George Rogers

Copyright by: George Rogers

Other data on Panicum virgatum available from:

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