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Sorghastrum nutans

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Plant types and subtypes: Grasses, Prairie Grasses, Ornamental Grasses

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: neutral, average, poor, loam, clay, sand, gravel/rock

Height: 3'-7'

Bloom Time: August, September, October

Bloom Color: yellow, brown

Leaf Color: blue-green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts birds, clumping, colonizing, dried flowers, drought tolerant, fall interest, naturalizing, ornamental foliage

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)
  • Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)
  • Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)
  • Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)
  • Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Sorghastrum nutans

Also known as:

Indiangrass

,

yellow Indiangrass

Scientific Synonyms:

Andropogon nutans, Sorghastrum avenaceum

Description

Indiangrass is a tall prairie grass with excellent ornamental features. Its long arching blue-green blades and golden plume-like seed heads - that can reach a height in excess of 7' - are striking when used as an accent plant. The foliage will turn deep shades of orange to purple in fall, and retain both color and erect form well into winter.

Cultivation

Sorghastrum nutans was once a dominant species of the tallgrass prairies of the Midwest where it thrives in dry to moist, well-drained soil. It is adaptable to poor, degraded soil, making it a good choice for prairie restorations, or erosion control. It will become a dominant grass, in degraded areas where other species have been destroyed or weakened by fire, flooding, or development.

Indiangrass is an excellent accent plant for large spaces, or naturalized meadows. It should be given its own space when grown in a garden setting, because it will out compete most herbaceous perennials. An ideal border or hedge plant. Cold hardy and heat tolerant. Zones 4-9

Propagation

Easily propagated from seed. Divisions should be performed early in the growing season, while the plants are of manageable size.

Additional Notes

Sorghastrum nutans should be grown as a native alternative to introduced exotic grass species such as fountaingrasses and Pampas grass.

Indiangrass will attract bees, when in bloom. The seeds are a good food source for songbirds and small mammals.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: ME
  • Special Concern: RI

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida Monocotyledons
Subclass Commelinidae
Order Cyperales
Family Poaceae Grass family
Genus Sorghastrum Indiangrass
Species Sorghastrum nutans Indiangrass