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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Prairie Wildflowers and Grasses of North Dakota

Grass (Native Species)


Chris Grondahl photo: Switchgrass
Chris Grondahl
  Switchgrass
(Panicum virgatum)

Distribution: statewide, more common in the southern counties
Habitat: uplands and lowlands of tallgrass prairie
Description: Tall, warm-season, perennial sod grass. Large teardrop-shaped spikelets arranged in 6-18 inch long, open spikes.
Height: up to 40 inches
Plant uses and other interesting facts: Farming and grazing have reduced Switchgrass. It is often used in prairie restoration with other tallgrass prairie grasses and forbs. It provides excellent cover for nesting birds and usually remains standing tall in the winter to also serve as winter cover.


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