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Common Name: Switchgrass

Scientific Name: Panicum virgatum

Native / Introduced: Native

Main Uses:

~Areas prone to drought


Height: 3 - 6 feet

Root Type: Sod

Growing Season: Warm

Soil Types: Most soils


~Acidic and salt soils

~Low soil fertility

Sun or Shade: Sun

Minimum Precipitation: 18 inches

Lifecycle: Perennial

Planting Seed Rate: 10 - 12 lbs/acre

Estimated Seeds Per Pound: 389,000

Optimal Planting Season: Spring or summer

Planting Depth: 1/4 - 3/4 inches deep

Category: Grass



Switchgrass is a perennial grass known for its tall and long-lived nature. It is strongly rhizomatous and forms sod and a warm-season grass. This adaptable grass can thrive in various soil textures, as long as there is adequate moisture available. Additionally, switchgrass exhibits good tolerance to acidity, salt, and low soil fertility. It can serve as a valuable source of forage and is moderately tolerant to grazing. However, it's worth noting that in certain situations, switchgrass can be aggressive and invasive.


One of its standout qualities is its excellent effectiveness in erosion control. Switchgrass plays a crucial role in stabilizing soil and preventing erosion, making it a valuable resource in environmental conservation efforts. Furthermore, it contributes significantly to creating wildlife habitat for various species, enhancing biodiversity in its ecosystem. Switchgrass holds importance in the context of range management, watershed protection, and reclamation efforts in mining areas.


NRCS Profile:

NRCS Plant Guide:

Switchgrass Seeds


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