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Scientific name: Panicum dichotomiflorum

This native perennial is also known as fall panic grass. It can reach three feet in height.


Features medium green leaves which turn yellow (sometimes with orange tints) in autumn, fading to tan-beige in winter.


It is a clump-forming, warm season grass which typically grows to 3 feet tall. When in flower, flower panicles may bring total plant height to 6 feet. Foliage clump is topped in mid-summer by finely-textured, showy pink-tinged, branched flowers which hover over the foliage like an airy cloud. Panicles turn beige as the seeds mature in fall, with the seed plumes persisting well into winter.

Blooming Season

Summer and Fall

Fun Facts

Switchgrass is being widely studied by Agricultural Research Service scientists for its potential as a biofuel.


Full sun to part shade. It occurs in both wet and dry soils, in fields and open woods, gravel bars and stream banks and along railroad tracks and other disturbed areas.

Similar Species

Other native grasses are little bluestem  and Indian grass.

Ecosystem Connections

Attracts birds as its seeds are a good source of food for birds in winter.

How You Can Help

Consider planting a native grass in your garden for their ease, beauty and contribution to our local ecosystem.

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