Sorghastrum nutans - Indian Grass
"Sorghastrum nutans, or Indiangrass, is a perennial, warm-season bunchgrass that can grow to 5 to 7 feet high. Although growth begins in the spring, it makes most of its growth between June and August and remains green until the first frost. Yellow flower panicles extend above the foliage in the late summer and fall. Indiangrass is native to the Southeastern United States, tolerates rocky and clay soil, naturalizes, and has yellow-orange fall color. It was one of the dominant grasses of the tallgrass prairie which once covered large parts of the Midwest. The plant provides excellent cover year round for birds and mammals, seeds are eaten by songbirds and the plant is highly resistant to deer grazing.
"The plant grows best in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. It tolerates a wide range of soils including heavy clays and does well in poor, dry, infertile soils. However, it does not do well in full shade. Indiangrass tends to open up and/or flop in moist, rich soils. It may naturalize by self-seeding in optimum growing conditions, but you can cut it back to the ground in late winter to early spring just before the new growth appears.It is a hardy plant able to withstand drought, erosion, dry soil, shallow-rocky soil, and air pollution." (North Carolina Extension)
- Erosion control: Indiangrass can be used on critical area seeding, for roadside cover, and on areas subject to wind erosion.
- Livestock: Indiangrass can be used singly or in mixtures for livestock forage on rangeland, pastureland, and hayland.
- Wildlife: Indiangrass is excellent for wildlife habitat
and food for deer.
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