Feb. 24, 2017

Indiangrass, Sorghastrum nutans

Despite this being one of our tallest grasses, you have to look close to see the beauty of the flowers. This, and most, grasses are wind pollinated. The feathery little bits are the pistils that sift the pollens from the air as it passes through. The orangish bits hanging down are the anthers. Those are the source of the pollen, and of many a hayfever attack. This plant, which grows up to 2 meters tall, was an important part of the tall grass prairie that once stretched across the central part of the country. It is very tolerant of fire and bison. In Ives Preserve it shows up in any open area, including the fen. It's doing well in the gravel pit, where we seeded it to help with the recovery. It's known from every state except AK, CA, HI, ID, NV, OR, and WA, and grows in MB, ON, QC, and SK Ives Fen Preserve, It is endangered in Maine, and is special concern in Rhode Island. Lenawee Co MI, 8/28/15.