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
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
Pricing & Availability
Sorghastrum nutansAlso known as:
Andropogon nutans, Sorghastrum avenaceum
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.
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
Easily propagated from seed. Divisions should be performed early in the growing season, while the plants are of manageable size.
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
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