Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has made headlines recently.

 

 

Switchgrass offers versatility, seasonal interest in garden

Coastal gardeners will appreciate ‘Dewey Blue’ or Blue Sand Switchgrass, a selection of Panicum amarum that thrives in dry sandy soils with low fertility. This beauty boasts striking blue-green foliage and showy inflorescences in fall.

by Amy Dabbs Columnist

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‘Cloud Nine’ switchgrass is in bloom along Johnnie Dodds Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. This is one of several cultivars of this native grass planted along the same street.

Cloud Nine’ switchgrass is in bloom along Johnnie Dodds Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. This is one of several cultivars of this native grass planted along the same street. Amy Dabbs

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has made headlines recently, as researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy found that it has excellent potential as a biofuel. This native grass is under close scrutiny for its fuel potential because it thrives in nearly every part of the country, can be grown easily from seed and does not require a lot of agricultural inputs such as fertilizer, pesticides or water.

Researchers are not alone in utilizing versatile switchgrass. Farmers feed its lush, warm-season growth to livestock and plant it as a windbreak between fields.

Engineers utilize switchgrass to stabilize soil and to control erosion.

Gardeners find that switchgrass makes a beautiful addition to naturalized gardens, wildflower meadows, perennial borders, pollinator gardens, rain gardens, bioswales, and many other landscape situations.

Read the full story: The Post and Courier

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.