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Forage Identification and Use Guide


Sorghastrum nutans

Indiangrass leaves have a very characteristic split ligule, often compared to a rifle sight or the feathers of an American Indian headdress.

Indiangrass plants and seed heads take on a golden color in the fall.

Tall, warm-season, perennial bunchgrass that is deep rooted, drought tolerant, and is spread by rhizomes and seed. Produces seed heads in late summer. Grows 3 to 6 feet tall.

Wildlife, pasture, and hay.

Summer production. Matures later in summer and extends grazing season into late summer. Its late maturity helps preserve some forage value after bird nesting season.

Light and fluffy seed, slow to establish. Not tolerant of close, continuous grazing.

Rate: 6-10 lb/a PLS*
Depth: ¼-½ in
Date: Apr 15-Jun 1

First harvest: Jul 15-Aug 1
Annual yield: 2-3 tons dry matter/a

*Pure live seed, or PLS, is equal to the percent germination multiplied by percent purity, both expressed as decimals. For example, a big bluestem seedlot that is 70% pure seed and 50% germination would be 35% pure live seed.

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