Sorghastrum nutans, more commonly referred to as Indiangrass, is a native, warm season perennial grass (NWSG) commonly used in CRP establishments. It can be found through central and eastern United States, especially along the Great Plains.
Part of the reason for its prevalence is its ability to grow in a range of soil types, from heavy clay to sandier soil. As a warm season grass, Indiangrass is resistant to drought. It can also benefit from periodic burnings.
Indiangrass grows tall, reaching heights of up to 8 feet. It consists of flat, green leaf blades that sometimes have a shade of blue to them. At the ends are puffy seed heads that shine golden brown in the sunlight. As fall comes, these seed heads shift to a deep orange or purple in some instances.
Animals enjoy Indiangrass, making it a popular choice for grazing and haying.
Indiangrass in CRP Seed Mixes
Due to its durability and capability of growing in a variety of soil conditions, Indiangrass is a great addition to CRP seed mixes for a variety of Conservation Practices. Like all NWSG, it protects against erosion, allowing soil to heal. Its thick, tall presence also provides ample cover for wildlife.
Gamebirds commonly make their nesting grounds in Indiangrass. White-tailed deer are drawn to it for shelter. This makes Indiangrass a particular great choice for hunting communities.
It has also shown to be beneficial to pollinators. Bees will gather nesting materials from Indiangrass while Pepper and Salt Skipper butterfly utilize it as a food source.
Indiangrass should be planted in soil with temperatures above 60 degrees for optimal germination. Typically, early May to late June is the best time to plant this warm season perennial.
To maximize your chances of germination, you’ll want to make sure you purchase your CRP grass seed from a quality vendor. At All Native Seed, we’ve spent over 16 years testing and developing our CRP seed mixes to maximize stand establishment success.
Click here to browse our in-house seed offerings. We have personally developed these mixes to provide the highest quality and diversity of seed at an economical price. Additionally, we can provide NRCS developed seeds here.
If you have any questions or need assistance in selecting your seed mix, don’t hesitate to call us at 888-224-2004 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d prefer to have someone select AND plant your CRP seed, our parent company provides full-service CRP solutions for contract holders. Click here to visit their website.