Panicum virgatum

Photo Courtesy of Herbarium Photographer

Common Name(s) Panic Grass
Scientific Name Panicum virgatum
Family Poaceae
Location/Vegetative Zone Salt Marsh
Flowering Period August
Identifying Characteristics Upright grass with seeds at end, about 5 feet tall (can grow up to 8 feet)


  • Grows up to 8 feet, though it is generally in the 5 foot range
    • Leaves are 1-3 feet long
    • Seeds are 3-6 mm long
  • Self-seeding crop
  • Deep-rooted, perennial, rhizomatous grass

Edible Uses

  • Seeds
    • Ground up by Cocopah Native Americans of the Colorado River to make patties and mush
    • Guarijio of Sonora made tamales, tortillas, and mixed with other ingredients to make a beverage

Cultural Uses

  • Panic Grass can net up to 100 gallons of ethanol per ton, which is more efficient than corn.


“Sonoran Panic Grass”. Native Seeds.  Web.

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