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Switchgrass is a major prairie grass of the Midwest that is a handsome garden plant with dazzling fall color. It is easy to grow in varied conditions: moist, dry, sun, hot, and it tolerates clay, infertile and sandy soils. Panicum virgatum has an upright growth habit reaching three feet with a cloud of airy seed heads. Switchgrass looks spectacular covering large areas of the landscape, eliminating the need for mowing and fertilizing. Switchgrass provides food and shelter to birds and wildlife and it thrives almost maintenance free. It is a natural for meadows, abandoned areas, borders and naturalized landscapes. This quick-growing perennial grass is studied as a bio-fuel alternative because it can be harvested and processed to produce bio-fuel. The Panicum genus is well-loved in Europe where colorful cultivars were selected and reintroduced into the American market.
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