yellow indiangrass

Yellow Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans). Photo: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Updated: March 19, 2021

About Yellow Indiangrass

Sorghastrum nutans
Graminoid, Grass Family

Maryland Distribution: Dry to moist meadows, throughout the state

Height: 4 to 8 feet
Blooms: In late summer, panicles open and yellow, pollen-laden anthers dangle in the breeze, making this one of the few grasses with attractive (but not showy) flowers. Wooly brown seed heads are ornamental throughout fall and winter. 
Sun: Full sun
Soil: Moist to dry soils, acid to alkaline, even slightly saline, all soil textures

yellow indiangrass

Sorghastrum nutans 'Sioux Blue'

Garden Use & Maintenance: This perennial, warm-season, clump forming grass has beautiful seed heads and makes an ideal ornamental specimen. Excellent alternative to Chinese silvergrass (Miscanthus sinensis), which is invading natural areas. When used as an ornamental specimen, cut away the previous season's growth in late spring, before new foliage emerges. Indiangrass is also useful for native meadows and erosion control.

Wildlife: The clumping habit of this grass provides ideal habitat for ground-nesting birds, including mourning doves, song birds, and bobwhite quail. Indiangrass is a host plant for several species of insect, including the Salt & Pepper Skipper.

Deer proof

yellow indiangrass

Additional resource

Publications for Gardeners | Maryland Native Plant Society