Indian grass is food for butterfly larvae- adult butterflies will frequent the plant.
One of the tall staple grasses to decorate the prairies of North America’s Midwest, the Indian grass, or Sorghastrum nutans, is also known as yellow Indian grass. An ornamental clump-forming plant, Indian grass averages 3 to 8 feet in height and thrives optimally in USDA Zones 4 to 9. Considered a hardy plant under the grass and bamboo category, full sun is needed for growth- during the Fall season, the blades of Indian grass change colors, from a green-blue turn to a muted orange. The perennial plant has a necessary leaf arrangement, long narrow green edges rise vertically in stalk formation, with tips of the plant blossoming into wheat-like plumes of soft and fluffy seed material.
Blooming during August, September, and October, the flowers of the Indian grass are often saved and preserve well by drying.
Indian grass is present throughout prairies- a source for various creatures, Indian grass requires average amounts of water and is not particular fickle to occasional watering and carries a high drought tolerance. Light requirements are variable, flourishing in the sun, part shade and shade environments- can tolerate dry soil, prefers moist, fertile clay soil and sandy soil but will grow in average soil. The ornamental value of the Indian grass is based on the clump formation growth- clumps are used to accent areas and highlight dense green spaces with the thin vertical plumes cutting a distinctive silhouette. The flowers are wispy and delicate; blooms are often used as nesting material by birds. Birds will frequent the grasses often to obtain and protect the valuable nest material. Indian grass does not require traditional fertilization as it is commonly seen in the wild growing in dry and sparse climates.