En EspaŅol
Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie dropseed) | NPIN
Share

NPIN: Native Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Search native plant database:
Name:    
Family:    
See a list of all Plants





Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie dropseed)
Harper, Bonnie L.

Sporobolus heterolepis

Sporobolus heterolepis (A. Gray) A. Gray

Prairie dropseed

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: sphe

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Prairie dropseed is a fine-textured, distinctive bunchgrass with leaves that curve gracefully outward forming large, round tufts. Delicate seedheads appear above the tuft in midsummer, rising 2 ft. high. Fall color is tan-bronze. Prairie dropseed is a perennial.

Snow does not flatten the plant, so it is visible even in winter.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Fruit:
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug

Distribution

USA: 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
Canada: ON , QC
Native Distribution: Que. to Sask., locally s. to NC, KY, e. TX & CO; also reported from MT
Native Habitat: Dry prairies

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Dry, sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Slow growing and slow to establish.
A clump forming warm season grass.
Foliage turns golden with orange hues in fall, fading to light bronze in winter.
Flowers have pink and brown tints, but are perhaps most noted for their unique fragrance.

Benefit

Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Propagation

Description: Propagate by sowing unstratified seed in fall or stratified seed in spring. Sow 1/4 deep. Seeds prefer cool weather to germinate. Dropseed takes about three seasons to develop specimen size. Division of older plants is difficult because of a dense, t
Seed Collection: Collect in Oct.
Seed Treatment: Dry stratification
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native plants to stabilize a steep bank in Pennsylvania
April 23, 2008
I would like to use native plantings to stabilize a steep bank of a septic leach field in eastern Pennsylvania. My purpose is to control erosion and to eliminate the need for mowing. What would you r...
view the full question and answer

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Ohio Prairie Nursery - Hiram, OH
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Prairie Nursery - Westfield, WI

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, The - Valhalla, NY
North American Native Plant Society - Etobicoke, ON
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Sporobolus heterolepis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sporobolus heterolepis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sporobolus heterolepis

Metadata

Record Modified: 2012-12-09
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center