Indiangrass

(Sorghastrum nutans)

Conservation Status
Indiangrass
Photo by Bill Reynolds
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

There is a split ligule at the base of the leaf where it clasps the stem. The shape has been compared to a rifle sight, hammer claw, or rabbit ears. The leaf narrows where it connects to the stem.

If you lightly hold the base of the flowering head of Indiangrass and run your hand upwards, the head will feel smooth and silky. With most other grasses, the head will feel rougher to the touch.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

5 to 7

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Dry to moderate moisture. Prairies. Full sun.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

August to September

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

 
         
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

Indiangrass is one of the most dominant grasses of the tallgrass prairie.

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Liliopsida (monocots)  
 

Order

Poales (grasses, sedges, cattails, and allies)  
 

Family

Poaceae (grasses)  
  No Rank PACMAD clade  
  Subfamily Panicoideae  
  Tribe Andropogoneae  
  Subtribe Sorghinae  
 

Genus

Sorghastrum (Indiangrass)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Andropogon albescens

Andropogon arenaceus

Andropogon avenaceum

Andropogon avenaceus

Andropogon ciliatus

Andropogon confertus

Andropogon linnaeanus

Andropogon nutans

Andropogon nutans var. avenaceus

Andropogon nutans var. linnaeanus

Chalcoelytrum nutans

Chrysopogon avenaceus

Chrysopogon nutans

Chrysopogon nutans var. avenaceus

Chrysopogon nutans var. linnaeanus

Digitaria nutans

Holcus nutans

Holcus nutans var. avenaceus

Poranthera cilata

Poranthera ciliata

Poranthera nutans

Rhaphis nutans

Sorghastrum albescens

Sorghastrum avenaceum

Sorghastrum linnaeanum

Sorghastrum nutans ssp. nutans

Sorghum avenaceum

Sorghum nutans

Sorghum nutans ssp. avenaceum

Sorghum nutans subvar. avenaceum

Sorghum nutans var. genuinum

Sorghum nutans ssp. linnaeanum

Stipa villosa

Trichachne nutans

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Indian grass

Indiangrass

prairie plume grass

wood grass

yellow Indian grass

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Ligule

In grasses, a membranous appendage at the junction of the leaf and the leaf sheath.

       
Visitor Photos
   

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Bill Reynolds
       
  Indiangrass   western honey bee
       
  western honey bee    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Habitat

  Indiangrass    
       

Inflorescence

  Indiangrass   Indiangrass
       
  Indiangrass    
       

Infructescence

  Indiangrass    
       

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
 
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
       

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Other Videos
 
  Indiangrass
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
 
   
 
About

Published on Dec 29, 2014

Indiangrass
Sorghastrum nutans

Description:
Perennial tallgrass, 2 to 6 feet
Bunchy with short rhizomes
Dense, golden-yellowish
Leaves are stiff and straight
Lighter green leaves than of big bluestem

Distribution:
Southeast Canada, central and eastern United States, Mexico
Absent west of Great Plains

Benefits:
Makes excellent hay
Seeds used by game birds, finches, juncos, tree sparrows
Also used by Meadow and Pocket mice

Read more about it here: http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?s...

   
       
  Indian Grass on the Prairie Orchard, August 16, 2014
The Prairie Orchard
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 22, 2014

One of the other common, conspicuous, warm season grasses of the Tallgrass Prairie. A feathered gold flower atop a blue green stem.

   
       
  Sorghastrum nutans (indian grass) hygroscopic awn, time lapse
Josh Drizin
 
   
 
About

Published on May 31, 2012

This is a Sorghastrum nutans diaspore (seed and seed coat). The part that spins is the awn. The awn was "primed" in a humid environment and allowed to spin in a less humid environment. This is a 10x speed up.

   
       
  Indiangrass - Sorghastrum nutans
Ionxchange
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 24, 2012

Earthyman views Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) at Ion Exchange, native seed and plant nursery in NE Iowa. Indiangrass is a perennial native prairie grass. http://ionxchange.com/products/SORGHASTRUM-NUTANS-%7C-Indiangrass.html

   
       
  Indian Grass (9/25/04)
OKGardeningClassics
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 7, 2013

Host Steve Owens talks about native Indian Grass, an excellent ornamental grass for the landscape.

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

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Bill Reynolds
6/28/2015

These images are of Yellow Indiangrass being worked by a Honey Bee for it's pollen. From my google research, I've not found this interaction between these two species.

Indiangrass


     
     
 
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