Switchgrass
Johnston's Native Grasses | Grasses

CIMARRON SWITCHGRASS

#1970 | PANICUM VIRGATUM

SWITCHGRASS FACT SHEET

Summary

Cimarron Switchgrass is a new release that is produced and marketed exclusively by Johnston Seed Company.  For conservation and range use, Switchgrass is usually seeded in mixtures with Big Bluestem, Indiangrass, and Sideoats Grama. Cimarron switchgrass is a warm-season perennial native grass that was developed and released in 2008 by the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station. Cimarron is the result of extensive selection and testing for high yielding biomass for the biofuels market. Cimarron is a lowland type adapted to the southern one-half of the United States.  Cimarron is similar in morphology and characteristics to the variety Alamo, but has 12% more tillers.  It also has 12% more tillers than Blackwell and 25% more than Kanlow. Flowering time of Cimarron is approximately 10 to 14 days later than Kanlow, 4 weeks later than Blackwell, and similar to Alamo. Cimarron has about 426,000 seeds per pound.  Dry matter yields were shown to be as much as 10% better than Alamo, the closest competitor.  A utility patent has been applied for with the U.S. Patent Office for the protection of Cimarron.

Switchgrass is a native, warm-season, perennial, tall grass that reproduces from seed and rhizomes. Switchgrass is categorized as either upland or lowland.  Upland types are typically shorter and generally found on upland sites with lower fertility and drier conditions. Lowland types can reach 8 to 10 feet tall, are very robust, and found in moister low areas with high fertility. Mature lowland types will tolerate long periods of flooding. Switchgrass is a very persistent species with excellent drought hardiness and cold tolerance. Switchgrass is widely adapted and found throughout the United States with the exception of the West Coast. Switchgrass produces large seeds on a spangled-type seed head. The stem is round, hollow, and usually has a reddish tint. Switchgrass is easily identified by a small nest of hair where the blades attach to the sheath. Switchgrass is used for pasture and makes a good quality hay when mowed prior to seedhead formation. It should not be grazed closer than 5 to 7 inches during the growing season. In recent years interest in biofuel research has generated substantial interest in developing new varieties of Switchgrass as well as new management strategies.

 

Plant Characteristics
Taxonomy

Zone

Regional Growing Zone
3 - Southern Mountain, 4 - Mountain, 5 - Midwest, 6 - Northeast Lakes, 7 - Great Lakes South, 8 - Appalacia, 9 - Southeast
USDA Plant Hardiness Zones
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Temperature Zone
Warm, Cool, Transitional

Plant Characteristics

Height
36" - 120"
Bloom Period
Mid-Summer - Late-Summer
Bloom Color
Yellow
Leaf Color
Green
Growing Cycle
Perennial
Sun Requirement
Full Sun

Plant Information

Planting Season
Spring - Early-Summer
Plant Depth
0.25"
Minimum Soil Temp for Germination
60° F
Establishment
Easy

Seed Information

Seeds Per Pound
400,000
Kingdom
PLANTAE
Subkingdom
TRACHEOBIONTA
Super Division
SPERMATOPHYTA
Division
MAGNOLIOPHYTA
Class
LILIOPSIDA
Subclass
COMMELINIDAE
Order
CYPERALES
Family
POACEAE
Genus
PANICUM
Species
PANICUM VIRGATUM

Coverage Area & Available Sizes

COVERAGE: 5 to 6 PLS lbs per acre

AVAILABLE SIZES:

Applications

Soil Stabilization & Erosion Control

Switchgrass has been long used for many conservation applications including but not limited to; buffer strips, Conservation Reserve Program, and stream bank erosion.

Pasture & Range

Switchgrass provides a suitable forage for hay and grazing if harvested prior to seedhead formation.  Forage quality diminishes rapidly when the reproductive stage is initiated in mid to late summer.

Landscaping

Switchgrass is also used in landscape plantings.  It is typically used as perimeter screens and accent plants.  Switchgrass can be moderately invasive in some applications.

Growth Guide & Gallery

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