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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Indiangrass - Sorghastrum nutans

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR
C-value: 1

Agency Status


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General Description
Warm season, perennial bunchgrass with short rhizomes. Stems 1–2 m. Leaves: blades 5–10 mm wide, flat and lax to ascending; ligule 2–7 mm long, membranous; sheaths ciliate along margins. Inflorescence a contracted panicle, 15–30 cm long; rachis and pedicels long hairy along margins. Spikelets paired, one sessile the other pedicellate, the sessile seed bearing, 5–8 mm long; the pedicellate mostly absent and represented by only the naked pedicel; glumes straw colored, acute, rounded on back and completely enveloping the florets. Lemmas with a bent awn 10–18 mm long; palea inconspicuous. Disarticulation below the glumes; unit of dispersal the spikelet pair (Lavin in Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Range Comments
Yellowstone County and reported from reclamation area in Rosebud County (John Rumely, personal communication). Throughout central and eastern North America (Lavin in Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).


  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Brey, C.W. 1998. Epidemiology of wheat curl mite (Aceria tosichella K.) and wheat streak mosaic virus on feral grass species and effect of glyphosate on wheat curl mite dispersal. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 136 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Indiangrass — Sorghastrum nutans.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from