Sporobolus heterolepis

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 6 Professionals
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: prairie dropseed
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Native Range: Canada to Texas
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to October
Bloom Description: Pink and brown-tinted
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Birds
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates 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.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Prairie dropseed is a clump-forming, warm season, Missouri native perennial grass which occurs in prairies, glades, open ground and along railroads throughout much of the State. 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.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

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.