Switchgrass (Maine Ecotype)
Switchgrass (Maine Ecotype)

Switchgrass (Maine Ecotype)

Regular price $4.00 Sale

Panicum virgatum

Origin: Maine

Improvement status: Wild

Seeds per packet: ~100


Life cycle: Perennial

Switchgrass is a deep-rooted native perennial bunchgrass perhaps best known for once being mentioned by former US President George W. Bush in a State of the Union address as a biofuel stock. It has yet to live up to the early hype, but it is still a really impressive plant — and may yet become a relatively sustainable source of biofuel in the future. In the meantime, and for eons long past, switchgrass is an important component of remnant native prairies, providing cover for wild animals, deep roots for soil conservation and water retention, and forage for grazing animals. It's also a highly effective carbon sequestration plant — and a full-grown specimen, reaching 5 or 6 feet tall, is beautiful to behold too!

Our seeds come from our friend Aaron Parker of Edgewood Nursery in Falmouth, Maine. The plants he grows are from a local Maine ecotype.

GROWING TIPS: Germination is greatly improved by stratification, so planting seeds in the fall or winter makes this easiest to achieve. Otherwise you can keep seeds in moist sand in the refrigerator for a month or two before planting out after soil temperatures reach 55 or 60 degrees in the spring (or sow in trays a few weeks before last frost). Give individual plants plenty of room (2 feet), because they will get quite large and also spread by rhizome.