Ornamental Grass Sporobolus heterolepis
Ornamental Grass Sporobolus heterolepis
Ornamental Grass Sporobolus heterolepis
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Ornamental Grass Sporobolus heterolepis

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Sporobolus heterolepis, called prairie dropseed, is a clump-forming, warm season, Illinois 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.

Sadly, in many areas of its range Prairie Dropseed populations are in decline. Adding this species to your landscape is a great way to lend a helping hand in the persistence of Prairie Dropseed well into the future along with bringing a different element to your native landscape.  


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