Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) in open field conditions.
Close-up of Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) with yellow flowers and seeds.
Close-up of Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) seed plumes in autumn.

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.

Native to Eastern Shore, Native to Maryland, Native to U.S., and Straight Species
Mature Plant Height: Very Tall: 73" and up
Deciduous
Sun (6+ hours)
Soil Moisture: Medium to Dry and Well-drained
Soil Type: Wide Tolerance and Poor
Bloom Time: Summer
Flower Color: Yellow
Foliage color: Green and Blue-Gray
Features: Attracts Birds, Host Plant for Butterflies or Moths, Fall Color, Winter Interest, and Erosion Control
Tolerances: Deer Tolerant, Black Walnut Tolerant, and Drought Tolerant
Garden Type: Meadow and Border/Screen

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