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Plant Profile  
FYUSE 3d Image

Common Name: Switchgrass

Species Name: Panicum virgatum

Plant Type: Grasses & Grass-like

Family Name: Poaceae, Grass Family

Tribe: Paniceae, Panicgrass Tribe




Plant Facts  
Origin Native
Duration Perennial
Season Warm
Distribution in the U.S. Eastern two-thirds from Maine and Canada southwestward to Arizona, Baja California and Mexico
Distribution in Oklahoma Western two-thirds of the state



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics


    • Robust grass with broad blades
    • Triangular tuft of hair at the base of blades
    • Typically in clonal bunches


    • Seed head large and open with stiffly upright branches
    • Solitary, dorsally compressed seed heads at the end of each branch
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Plant Height: 80-200 centimeters
    • Ligule Type: Ciliate membranous
    • Sheath: Glabrous
    • Leaves: Cauline
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Inflorescence Type: Panicles
    • Florets Per Spikelet: 2
    • Glumes: Unequal; upper glumes longer than lemmas



Soil Type Various, moist soils
Habitat Floodplains, open words and rocky streambeds
Successional Stage Mid to late


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