Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Height: 90 - 240 cm (3-8 ft)
Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash
Stem: The hairless stem is hollow and hairless.
Flowers: feathery flowers are produced in golden, purplish red plumes which dance by the direction of the wind up to 8 feet off the ground.
Leaves: halfway up the stem, the alternate pale to dark green leaves work. They are usually hairless and sometimes arching. In the autumn, the leaves turn an orangish, yellow accenting the fall colors of the trees.
Sun: Full sun
INPAWS Natural Communities: Prairie grassland (sun); Water's edge (sun); Winter Interest
SOURCES & FURTHER RESOURCES:
Comments: As a warm season grass, it spends its summer growing then flowering in late summer, early fall. It is an important species for foraging in the tall grass prairies of North America once being one of the most dominate grasses in the tall grass prairies.
Etymology: The epithet, nutans, is Latin for nodding referring to the plumes. The genus Sorghastrum comes from the Latin words, suricum granum, which means "Syrian grains" and astrum meaning "a pitiful imitation".
all photos by Nathanael Pilla
Landscape: Indian grass is a great native replacement for exotic landscape grasses. This brilliant grass adds bronze, brown, purple, red, and blue color hints into your landscape. Prevents soil erosion as well.