Plant types and subtypes: Grasses, Prairie Grasses, Ornamental Grasses
Light Requirements: sun
Water Use: low
Soil Moisture: dry, moist
Soil Description: average, clay, sand, gravel/rock
Bloom Time: June, July, August, September, October
Bloom Color: pink, brown
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6
Additional Tags: attracts birds, clumping, drought tolerant, edible, fall interest, fragrant flowers, mounding, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, rock garden plant, winter interest
Pricing & Availability
Sporobolus heterolepisAlso known as:
Sporobolus heterolepis is one of the most spectacular of all prairie grasses. It is fine textured and grows into fountain-like well rounded mounds. The foliage turns attractive golden hues in fall, and the rigid blades maintain their form throughout winter, seemingly unaffected by the weight of snow. Perhaps its most unusual characteristic, amongst grasses, is its fragrant flowers with an aroma reminiscent of coriander.
Prairie dropseed is easy to grow, low maintenance, and very rewarding. Adapted to a wide range of well drained soils, including thin and rocky, it will also tolerate heavy clay. Best grown in soil with average moisture, mature clumps are quite drought resistant. It should be planted in full sun. Slow to establish, it is not an aggressive species. It can be used as a noninvasive ground cover, foundation plant, rock garden specimen, or planted en masse to form a border. Cut back previous year's foliage in late winter or early spring, before the plant breaks from dormancy. Zones 3-6
Germination rates are medium to low. Best propagated by division.
The seeds are palatable and nutritious. They are a good food source for many species of birds. Native American plains tribes would grind the seeds to make flower.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AR, CO, CT, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, SD, VA, WI, WY
USDA Endangered Status:
- Endangered: CT, KY, MD, NC, PA
- Threatened: NY, OH
|Species||Sporobolus heterolepis||prairie dropseed|