Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A native grass, take two

with 4 comments

Click for greater sharpness and considerably larger size.

—Tell me verbatim.

Panicum virgatum.

—That’s which grass?

That’s switchgrass.

—That’s a rich grass.

The 29th of December.*

—A season that I’ll remember.


* In 2011, I should say,
which makes it a year ago today.


If pointers on nature photography are what you seek,
Check out items 6 and 15 in About My Technique.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 29, 2012 at 6:20 AM

4 Responses

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  1. I like switch grass. It’s pretty and I use it as a filler here and a filler there. Actually I can cut it several times and I feed the cuttings to my pet goat. I leave the last growth for birds to eat the tiny seeds. I don’t have any bluestem though and I hope to rectify that one of these days.


    December 29, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    • It’s good to find someone else who likes the way switchgrass looks. Unlike you, I haven’t used the grass in any way (other than to take pictures of it).

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 29, 2012 at 4:05 PM

  2. In all the time I’ve been looking at the maps to see where a particular plant flourishes, I’ve never seen one like the switchgrass map. It covers the entire country, except for CA, OR and WA – perhaps one or two other states. I was curious why it hasn’t taken root there, too. I turned up this really interesting article about attempts in California to establish switchgrass, both as an alternative livestock feed and as a more efficient energy source than corn.

    In a few more years, switchgrass may take over the map!


    December 30, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    • Ah, the ethanol boondoggle (which some have called welfare for agribusiness), but the only politicizing I’ll do here is to point out the motto that Panicum virgatum offers: “Let’s switch to switchgrass.”

      I, too, noticed the unusually broad range of switchgrass, which extends into Mexico as well as Canada. It’s a well-established grass, all right—and one trend that didn’t start in California.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 30, 2012 at 9:49 AM

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