Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) Unity Grown
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Sorghastrum nutans, commonly referred to as Indiangrass, is a native, warm season perennial grass that grows from three to eight feet tall depending on soil and seasonal conditions. During the late summer and early fall, Indiangrass produces large, dense plumes of golden yellow blooms, which produce small, hairy seeds that are consumed by many bird species. The grass's flat leaf blades, typically 10 to 20 inches long, range from blue-gray to green in color in the spring and summer before fading to fall colors of coppery-brown and gold, a beautiful autumnal tone that persists through the winter.
Besides its appeal to birds, Indiangrass also serves as a host plant for a number of butterfly and moth larvae, including the caterpillars of the Pepper and Salt Skipper (Amblyscirtes hegon) which is considered state rare and in need of conservation in Maryland. Sorghastrum nutans is a beautiful ornamental grass with a ton of multi-season appeal and a lot of ecological benefit. Versatile and hardy, Indiangrass is also tolerant of drought, dry and poor soils, and is resistant to black walnut's allelopathic chemicals, and grows excellently in prairies and meadows, on hills for erosion control, and as an upright accent piece in border plantings and beds.