Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) is a tall native perennial, warm-season grass, which reproduces from seed and short underground stems. It produces beautiful golden plume-like seed heads, on stems that reach heights of 4 to 8 feet tall. It is easily identified by the claw-like ligule, where the blade attaches to the sheath. Indiangrass is used for green forage or dry prairie hay and is very nutritious. It should not be grazed shorter than 5 to 8 inches during the growing season. It is found throughout the Bluestem belt of the United States, and can be seeded alone or in mixtures with other tall grasses. The seed can be harvested with a combine.
Indiangrass has many applications in the conservation of land. It is widely used in soil stabilization, nutrient reclamation, filter strips, and buffer strips.
Indiangrass is readily consumed by many classes of livestock. Typically planted in mixtures with other warm-season native grasses.
Indiangrass can be planted as an accent plant or in mass plantings. The beautiful golden plume-like seedheads makes Indiangrass one of the most desired native grasses in the landscape. Indiagrass is the state grass of Oklahoma.
Commercially Available Cultivars
'Osage' (Kansas and Oklahoma)
'Cheyenne' (informal release in Oklahoma)
Various native ecotypes