Sporobolus heterolepis

Prairie Dropseed
Photo Courtesy of Missouri Botanic Garden Plant Finder
Price Code: 
$7.50/ qt.
Status: 
Available in Spring

Sporobolus heterolepis, called prairie dropseed, is a clump-forming, warm season, native perennial grass which typically occurs in prairies, glades, open ground and along railroads. This is a prairie grass that is native from Quebec to Saskatchewan south to Colorado, Texas and Connecticut. Fine-textured, hair-like, medium green leaves (to 20” long and 1/16” wide) typically form an arching foliage mound to 15” tall and 18” wide. Foliage turns golden with orange hues in fall, fading to light bronze in winter. Open, branching flower panicles appear on slender stems which rise well above the foliage clump in late summer to 30-36" tall. Flowers have pink and brown tints, but are perhaps most noted for their unique fragrance (hints of coriander). Tiny rounded mature seeds drop to the ground from their hulls in autumn giving rise to the descriptive common name.

the species is easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. It tolerates a wide range of soils, including heavy clays. Prefers dry, rocky soils. Good drought tolerance. Slow-growing and slow to establish. May be grown from seed but does not freely self-seed in the garden.

Ground cover for hot, dry areas. Prairies, meadows, native plant gardens, wild areas or slopes. Also effective in large rock gardens. Accent for foundation plantings or borders.

Adapted from: Missouri Botanic Garden Plant Finder

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