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Native Plant of the Week: Sorghastrum nutans

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

Family: Poaceae

Common Name: Indian Grass

Bloom Time: August - September

Flowers: Panicle, light brown with yellow stamens

Soil Condition: Dry - Moist

Light: Sun

Height: 3-8’

Native Range: Eastern and Central United States including Long Island

Sorghastrum nutans is an upright, warm-season grass with lovely blue-green foliage. This beauty is best in a native garden, wildlife garden, or meadow setting. It needs a lot of space because it will self-sow readily. Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful when the golden panicles are backlit by the sun. Makes a great dried and fresh-cut flower. Deer Resistant. Tolerates Black Walnut.

Maintenance: Very low maintenance. Cut back in late winter to early spring before new growth begins. Collect seeds in mid to late October.

Benefits: Birds and small mammals eat the seeds. Birds also use it for nest building. Host plant for the Pepper-and-Salt Skipper butterfly.

Companion Plants: Monarda fistulosa (Bee Balm), Ratibida pinnata (Yellow Coneflower), Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Eupatorium hyssopifolium (Thoroughwort)



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