Botanical Name: Sorghastrum nutans
Common Name: Indiangrass  
Plant photo of: Sorghastrum nutans
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Water Saving Tip:

Replace turf with groundcovers, trees, and shrubs. If you have areas where no one uses the grass, patches that do not grow well, or a turf area too small to water without runoff, consider replacing the turf with water-efficient landscaping.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Perennial, Grass


Height Range



Flower Color



Flower Season



Leaf Color

Green, Blue Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season






Very Low, Low


Growth Rate



Soil Type

Sandy, Clay, Loam, Rocky, Unparticular


Soil Condition

Average, Poor, Well-drained, Dry


Soil pH

Acid, Neutral, Basic


Adverse Factors


Design Styles

Meadow, Native Garden, Woodland


Accenting Features

Showy Flowers, Silhouette


Seasonal Interest

Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Background, Foundation


Special Uses

Cut Flowers, Erosion Control, Mass Planting, Naturalizing


Attracts Wildlife

Birds, Wildlife

Information by: Stephanie Duer
  • Description

  • Notes

Indiangrass is a perennial grass with erect, tufted stems from 2-1/2 to 5 feet tall, and about half as wide. It starts growth in late spring or early summer and flowers in mid- to late summer. The seedhead is a single, narrow, plume-like panicle that is golden brown and 4 to 12 inches long; it has sort of an exploded-oat look about it. A Utah native, Indiangrass is found in hanging gardens and along washes at 3,700-7,200’ in Southern Utah where annual precipitation is 10 inches or less, but flooding with runoff water is common.
It grows best in full sun and deep, well-drained soils but is tolerant of poorly to excessively drained soils, acid to alkaline conditions, and soil textures ranging from sandy to clayey. Syn. with S. avenaceum.