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ornamental grass

Indian Steel Indian Grass*

Sorghastrum nutans 'Indian Steel'

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Indian Steel Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans 'Indian Steel') at Alsip Home and Nursery

Indian Steel Indian Grass

Indian Steel Indian Grass

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  3


A clump forming variety producing tall blue-green leaf blades which turn gold in fall and retain it through the winter; long, feathery panicles appear above the foliage in late summer, turning copper in fall; an excellent vertical accent

Ornamental Features

Indian Steel Indian Grass is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. The coppery-bronze seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from early to late fall. It has masses of beautiful panicles of buttery yellow flowers held atop the stems in late summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its grassy leaves are bluish-green in color with showy steel blue variegation. The foliage often turns gold in fall. The tan stems can be quite attractive.

Landscape Attributes

Indian Steel Indian Grass is an herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cut back to the ground in late winter before active growth resumes. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Indian Steel Indian Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Indian Steel Indian Grass will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.


* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Garden 
Flowers  Fruit  Texture  Bark 
Ornamental Features