Sorghastrum nutans Indian Grass Warm Season Grass
sore-GAS-strum  NUT-ans

Native Wild Flower Seed and Plants

Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers  for Home Landscaping and Prairie Restoration 

photo by cj Habitat Bloom Period Flower Color Height Inches Moisture Plant Spacing Lifespan
Sorghastrum nutans picture, indian grass picture Sun or 
Lt Shade
August Tan 36 to 84  Dry to Average 15 to 36 Inches Perennial

     For our other Native Wildflowers visit Wildflower Seed and Potted Plant Price List

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Sorghastrum nutans Indian Grass potted plants should be available in late spring

Sorghastrum nutans
Indian Grass

number of seeds

approximate coverage
in square feet

1 packet -  $2.50 + shipping


30 sq ft

1 ounce -  $ 3.50  pls        


272 sq ft

1 pound - $26.00  pls       


4,350 sq ft

Some grass seeds are very bulky - email for shipping charges on ounce and pound quantities of grass seed.

Sorghastrum = Literally, a "poor imitation of Sorghum", referring to its similarity to Sorghum
         nutans = Nodding, pendant

Sorghastrum nutans, Indian Grass, is a warm season clump forming native grass with feathery plumes and is a host plant for Skipper butterflies.  Indian Grass grows best in full sun and average moisture and looks great when used in the back border of a perennial bed, in a prairie meadow, or as an accent plant in the butterfly garden.  The Indian Grass Plant in the picture above is about 6 feet tall and one of many growing wild on a roadside near my home.

Indian Grass grows best in deep, well-drained floodplain soils but is highly tolerant of poorly to excessively well-drained soils, acid to alkaline conditions, and textures ranging from sand to clay.  Indian Grass was a major component of the tall grass vegetation which once dominated the prairies of the central and eastern United States.  Indiangrass is widespread growing in upland prairies, glades, and open woods from the eastern seaboard to North Dakota, south to Arizona and Old Mexico. 

The map below shows areas where Indian Grass plants grow wild, it is hardy and will grow over a much wider area if planted.  Plant in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9. Gramineae (Grass Family)

Sorghastrum nutans
Indian Grass


New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota

Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota
West Virginia

State Distributional Map for Sorghastrum nutans, indian grass wild flower seed


Use the chart below for shipping charges on native wildflower seeds

to order copy and mail the order form
 email questions, comments and orders to 

please email for shipping charges on ounce or pound quantities of grass seed.

Please contact us by email with your zip code and number of plants for shipping charges and availability on  potted plants

We accept payment by check, money order, and through Paypal

email for the correct shipping amount on orders containing ounce and pound quantities of grass seed

The shipping amounts below are for flower seeds and small packets of grass seed

please email for shipping charges on ounce or pound quantities of grass seed.

subtotal for flower seeds 

shipping charge for seeds

seed orders up to  $20.00    =  

 $4.00 shipping

$20.01 - $50.00    =  

 $6.00 shipping

$50.01-$100.00    =  

 $7.50 shipping

over $100.00    =    7.5 % of subtotal


  Wildflower Seed and Potted Plant Price list

Order Form    Flower Pictures

Easyliving Wildflowers
PO Box  522
Willow Springs,  MO.  65793
Phone 417-469-2611 

We accept payment by check or money order and through PayPal

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Plant distribution map complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
  ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.




















Alternate Names
Indian grass and yellow indiangrass
Erosion control: Critical areas, roadside cover and areas subject to wind erosion
Livestock: Indiangrass growing singly, or in mixtures with other native grasses, provide livestock forage on rangeland, pastureland, and hayland. Forage quality is high when green and fair when mature.
Pollinators: Indiangrass constitutes part of the native plant community in support of pollinators.
Restoration: Indiangrass is used in restoration of native prairie areas and longleaf pine understory sites.
Wildlife: White-tailed deer browse Indiangrass foliage. A mix of Indiangrass and other native warm-season grasses and forbs provide nest, brood and escape cover for bobwhite quail. Indiangrass seed is consumed by birds and small mammals.
Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g., threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).
This plant may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed. Please consult with your local NRCS Field Office, Cooperative Extension Service office, state natural resource, or state agriculture department regarding its status and use. Weed information is also available from the PLANTS Web site at Please consult the Related Web Sites on the Plant Profile for this species for further information.
Description and Adaptation
Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans [ L.] Nash), is a native, rhizomatous, perennial, warm-season bunchgrass. It is a major component of the tall grass vegetation which dominated the prairies of the central and eastern United States. It is common in longleaf pine understory communities. Indiangrass grows 3 to 7 feet tall. Even when young, it can be distinguished by the “rifle-sight” ligule occurring where the leaf blade attaches to the leaf sheath. The leaf blades grow to 3 feet long, and narrow at the point of attachment. The seed head is a single, narrow, bronze-yellow plume-like panicle maturing to brown. The seed is light and fluffy with small awns attached. There are approximately 175,000 seeds per pound. Indiangrass is adapted from Florida, north to Canada, and west to North Dakota, Wyoming, and Utah. It grows well in deep, well-drained floodplain soils and in well-drained upland sandy loam soils. It is tolerant of poor and well-drained soils, acid to alkaline conditions, and textures from sand to clay.
Indiangrass distribution from USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.
For updated distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
Indiangrass requires a soil temperature above 50°F for germination. Dormant seedings have not been successful. The optimum time to plant is from early May to late June. In the southern states planting is recommended after last threat of frost but before hot dry conditions of summer.
The seed is light and has small awns attached. Debearding removes the awns producing a free-flowing product. The planting site should be free of weeds. A moist, firm seedbed is essential. Firming the soil with a roller packer before and after seeding helps to ensure that the seed is placed at the recommended seeding depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch. Packing after planting is especially important if seeded with a broadcast spreader.
If drilled for pasture conditions, use 6 to 8 pounds PLS (pure live seed) per acre. For broadcast seedings, use 10 pounds per acre. The seeding rate for mixed pastures of Indiangrass, switchgrass, big bluestem and little bluestem are 2 pounds PLS each per acre. Seeding rates for other uses will normally be lower than the pasture rate. Indiangrass has strong seedling vigor, but stands develop slowly where there is competition from broadleaf weeds and cool-season grasses. To minimize the amount of exposed weed seed in seedings use no-till establishment methods. Cool season grasses must be controlled before seeding. Indiangrass is tolerant to most broadleaf herbicides.
The most common cause of failure of native warm-season grasses is a loose seedbed and improper seed placement. The seedbed should be firm, showing only a light footprint.
It is important to follow label instructions for application amounts and grazing requirements.
Fertilizing with moderate amounts of phosphorus and potassium are recommended for establishment. Applications of nitrogen are not recommended until the grass is established. In the establishment year, 20 to 40 pounds per acre of phosphorus and potassium may be applied in late summer. In the second year, phosphorus and potassium may be applied in the early summer at a rate of 40 to 80 pounds per acre. In future years fertilizer may be applied to enhance vigor for forage production and erosion control. Indiangrass used for purposes other than pasture will require minimal if any fertilization.
Properly managed and maintained stands of Indiangrass should not require replanting. Poor stands can be rejuvenated using management practices, such as controlled grazing, the application of herbicides and fertilizer, and prescribed burning. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilizer should be applied according to soil tests.
In rotational grazing systems, remove no more than ½ the above ground growth (no shorter than 8 to 12 inches). With care, the stand will last indefinitely. Forage quality will remain high until the seed head emerges. Grazing should begin when grass is 18 to 20 inches in height. Overgrazing can damage the stand and should be stopped when the plants are grazed to within 8 inches of the soil level. Leaving this much stubble before frost allows the plants to store carbohydrates and ensures the production of vigorous plant growth in the spring.
Prescribed burns increase vigor in the plant and improve its ability to control erosion and increase forage production. They are essential in restoration and wildlife plantings.
Pests and Potential Problems
During exceptionally wet summers Indiangrass can be attacked by rust. Armyworms can become a problem in dry years.
Environmental Concerns
Cultivars developed for forage production may dominate native Indiangrass stands in natural plant communities and restoration sites.
Please contact your local agricultural extension specialist or county weed specialist to learn what works best in your area and how to use it safely. Always read label and safety instructions for each control method. Trade names and control measures appear in this document only to provide specific information. USDA NRCS does not guarantee or warranty the products and control methods named, and other products may be equally effective.