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House with native plants and animalsGoing Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants
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Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

Switchgrass is a perennial, warm-season grass that may grow 3 to 4 feet and occasionally 7 feet. Foliage clump is topped in mid-summer by finely-textured, pink-tinged, branched flower panicles which hover over the foliage like a cloud.


Provides excellent cover year round. Host plant for Common Wood-Nymph and various skipper species of butterfly. Seeds are eaten by songbirds and small mammals.

Plant Type Grass
Leaf Type Deciduous
Deer Resistance High
Regions Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plain
Light Full Sun, Partial Sun/Shade
Soil Moist
Bloom Times Late Summer, Fall
Seed Times Fall, Winter
Wildlife Value Winter Cover, Seed or Nut, Butterfly Larvae Host
NC Forest ServiceNC Cooperative Extension