Herbs and Other Plant Species of the World's Boreal Forests

World Boreal Trees

Terminology | Pictorial

Sorghastrum nutans
Indian Grass
Poaceae (Grass Family)

A tall, loosely tufted grass, growing to a height of 90 - 240 cm.

Indian Grass Description

Distinguishing Features - Leaves: >60 cm long, angled from the stem. Flowers: tiny, without petals; 3 stamens with prominent, yellow, protruding anthers; 2 styles; flowers enclosed in hairy scales, with a long, slender, twisted projecting bristle; scales grouped into spikelets >8 mm long; spikelets: shiny, golden-brown, plumelike, in a narrow cluster >25 cm long; flowering August and September.


Native; Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec; south through New England to Florida; west to Texas; north to North Dakota and Manitoba; in prairies and dry fields; prefers moist soil conditions and full sun; highly adaptable when established; will tolerate wet, dry or poorer soil conditions.


The dark yellow flowers of Indian Grass make attractive fresh or dried arrangements. The purple fall foliage makes for even more dramatic presentations.

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