USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Hitchcock, A.S. (rev. A. Chase). 1950. Manual of the grasses of the United States. USDA Miscellaneous Publication No. 200. Washington, DC.
WILD SEED PROJECT IS OFFERING SEEDS, SO THIS SPECIES IS NOT A PRIORITY.
Where Commonly Found: Brackish, marshes and flats, meadows, fields, shores of rivers or lakes, wetland edges, CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT.
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany key to Panicum virgatum.
Plant Type: Warm-season grass, smooth stem, can form dense colonies
Leaf Type: Leaf blades are 6″-22″ long and 5/16″ wide, hairy on upper surface, especially near the ligule which is a fringe of dense hairs about 1/8″ tall.
Flower: Mid-August to October, Reddish Purple.
Seed Head: Openly branched, airy panicle with spikelets near the ends of the branches Grain is shiny, smooth and about 1/8″ long.
Height: 3′ – 6′
Seed Collection: Collect before significant shattering, air dry, clean by scalping through 1/2″-1/4″ mesh to remove large particles, then brush to remove floral parts, air screen for final cleaning.
Attracts: Butterflies, Larval Host, Birds
Use: Garden, Naturalizing and Monarch Garden
Light: Full Sun to Part Sun
Hardiness Zone: 3 to 9 USDA Zone Map
Soils: Dry to Moist
Notes: Switchgrass is a clump-forming native grass, show-stopper. Beautiful in all seasons and valued by many butterflies and moths as a larval host plant, seeds for songbirds and cover/nesting material for many wildlife species.
Native to all US except the West Coast: Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North America Plant Atlas (NAPA).