Panicum virgatum

Northwind SwitchgrassLatin name: Panicum virgatum10
Common name: Northwind Switchgrass10
Flowers: Not showy10
Fruit: Caryopsis (simple dry grain-like fruit)10
Height & Width: 3-6ft tall, 24in-3ft wide19
Type: Herbaceous perennia10
Habit: Grassy/grass-like10
Wetland indicator category: FAC10
SC regions include (1) Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains & (2) Eastern Mountain Piedmont

Texture: Fine10
Growth rate: Medium10
Light: Sun, part shade10
Moisture: Medium10
Soil: Dry, moist10
Zones: 5-912
Origin: Native in the continental US except California and the Pacific Northwest10
Ecosystem benefits: Food and habitat for wildlife, provides cover and nesting material16

Features: This plant is known for stabilizing soil, making it useful for erosion control16. It is also a useful source of hay for livestock and pastures16. It provides a groundcover and nesting, and food for small birds and animals16. It can also be used to produce biofuel16.

Siting: This plant can be used as an accent or grouped together12. In a garden setting, it can be used as a border, or as a screen12. It can also be seen in meadows or prairies12. It can commonly be found partially or wholly submerged in water (hydrophilic)10.

Care: Plant crown at soil level18. At planting, water the roots and surrounding area slowly and deeply. Keep soil moist until plant is established, then apply enough water to thoroughly moisten the root zone when the soil is dry or during drought. Modify water recommendations to reflect site drainage and rainfall. Apply 3” of mulch over the planted area. Do not allow mulch to touch the plant stems18. Switchgrass can be planted from seed using seed drills at ¼ in thick or broadcast spreaders16.

Pests: Pests include: grasshoppers, leafhoppers, armyworms, and Switchgrass moths16.

This plant does not appear on the following invasive plant lists on (2/12/16): enter date searched and check the lists that were examined
X USDA SC Invasive Plant Species Web site at

_ SC Exotic Plant Pest Council Web site at


Sources 1-18 found on Sources page

Image source: 

19. Wayside Gardens. Northwind Switchgrass. Retrieved from