Chapter 3. Common Native Grasses of the Northern Midwest

3.14 Indiangrass

Indiangrass in flower.
Indiangrass in flower.

Sorghastrum nutans

Warm season; Perennial

Characteristics: 3–6’; upright to columnar; flowers bronze; foliage blue-green; fall color

Growing Conditions: full sun; hardy zones 3–8

A dominant grass in the tallgrass prairie, Indiangrass is a large grass that grows very upright. The are long, feathery spikes that appear yellow when pollen is shedding and turn bronze as the season continues.

  • ‘Indian Steel’: upright with numerous, shiny bronze flowers, 5–6’.
  • ‘Sioux Blue’: an excellent selection for gardens; showy yellow flowers, 5–5.5’.

Species that use Indiangrass according to the literature are pepper and salt skipper (Amblyscirtes hegon) and wheat head armyworm (Faronta diffusa).

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Gardening with Native Grasses in Cold Climates by Diane M. Narem and Mary Hockenberry Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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