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Indian Grass
Sorghastrum nutans

Warm-season, native, perennial grass that forms loose clumps and reaches 4-8'. An excellent plant for stabilizing soils of slopes, buffers, and vegetated swales. A wonderful contrast or border plant for landscapes for a wide range of habitats. It is also suited for many restorations of meadows, prairies, and buffers. It has been used in shallow, well-drained rainwater gardens.

USDA symbol: SONU2

General Information

Plant TypeGrass
Height5 feet
Light ExposurePart Sun, Sun
Soil MoistureDry, Medium
Bloom ColorGreen
Indian Grass (Indian Grass<div><em class="small">Sorghastrum nutans</em></div>)
Photo credit: Minnesota Native Landscapes (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceModerate
General Resilience9
Salt ToleranceMedium
Stress ToleranceDrought Tolerant, Fire Tolerant, General Disturbance

Pollinator Value: Medium

Bloom MonthsJuly to September
Pollinator BenefitStem Nesting

Project Planning

Project TypeBoulevard, Erosion Control, Rain Garden, Restoration, Sandy or Engineered Soils, Shoreline Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism5
Herbivore SensitivityHigh
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyAnoka, Becker, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, Isanti, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Lac qui, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wabasha, Wadena, Washington, Watonwan, Wilkin, Winona, Wright, Yellow Medicine
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands