Sorghastrum nutans 'Indian Steel'
- Indian Grass
Indian grass, along with switch grass and big bluestem
once dominated millions of acres in central N. America.
Sorghastrum is the most widely adaptable of the three, thus
making it an excellent choice for many low-maintenance gardens.
Its beauty lies in the many reddish-brown flowers which
are high-lighted by brilliant yellow anthers. Excellent
for flower arrangements.
Also useful for roadside beautification projects and erosion
control. It is a North American native plant - one of the
tall prairie grasses.
We are very happy to have finally found a blue type that
holds up to the elements.
Description: warm season; sod forming
Foliage is blue-green; medium blade width; 80-120 cm (32-48")
Flowers Aug to Sept, 100-150 cm (40-60")
Ideal conditions: full sun to light shade;
likes moist fertile soil but is very drought tolerant once
Coldest zone: 3 (find
your zone; further info on plant hardiness)
Season of interest: August to winter
Drought tolerance rating: 2 (water to
root depth once every 2 weeks); further
Native to: the species is native to North
America, from Quebec to Manitoba and south to Mexico
Recommended spacing between plants: 60-100
cm (24-40") why such a difference?
When to divide: when it shows signs of
life in the spring, continuing until the new growth is about
12" tall; only in the spring (further
info on dividing grasses)
When to plant or transplant: plant bare root plants
only in late spring to early summer, when the soil
is warm, about the same time you plant your bean or corn
seeds. The roots will grow only in warm soil. Planting too
early in the spring may cause the roots to rot. Similar
story in the fall when the roots may not grow enough to
establish before the cold and wet of winter, resulting in
the demise of the plant.
When to cut back: before the new growth
starts to appear, but after the cold weather is over. Cut
back to about 4" from the crown of the plant.
Pronunciation: Sorghastrum (sor-GAS-trum)
Menu of ornamental grasses
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