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November Native Plant of the Month

Lopsided Indiangrass

Sorghastrum secundum

A medium to large perennial grass that grows 2-3 ft. in height and up to 6 ft. when its attractive flower produces a long inflorescence late summer through fall. Grasses provide many ecological services and are great additions to natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Requires full sun, sandy well drained soil and is very drought tolerant. Not salt tolerant.



https://www.wilcoxnursery.com/store/Lopsided-Indian-Grass-p189111742


Larval host plant for the Delaware skipper, Dusted skipper and Swarthy skipper butterflies, throughout the year, Lopsided Indiangrass is rather indistinct. But in late summer, it produces tall, dramatic flower spikes, each wrapped in bracts that are covered in soft, bronze to brown hairs, and bears a long, twisted, reddish-brown awn and bright yellow anthers. When lit by the sun, the colorful flowerheads flicker and flash. The entire inflorescence occurs on one side of the rachis, hence the common descriptor “lopsided.” Leaves are dark green with long, tapering blades up to 18 inches long. Leaf sheaths are covered in fine hairs. Propagated by seed and division.





Recommended for naturalistic landscapes and habitat restorations, it can also be incorporated into a wildflower garden, but should be used in the background where its height (when flowering) won’t obscure other wildflowers. It will self-seed slowly and will need to be cut back annually.