Prairie Dropseed
Sporobolus heterolepis

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sporobolus (spor-ROB-oh-lus) (Info)
Species: heterolepis (het-er-oh-LEP-is) (Info)

Category:

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Perennials

Height:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Spacing:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Herbaceous

Other details:

Flowers are fragrant

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

,

Denver, Colorado

Longmont, Colorado

Aurora, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Hinsdale, Illinois

Peoria, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Lincoln, Nebraska

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Farmington, New Mexico

Patchogue, New York

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Burlington, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin

Menasha, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

4
positives
0
neutrals
1
negative
RatingContent
Positive

On Jan 27, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is a pretty clump ornamental grass and native prairie or meadow plant. Does well in most any well-drained soil. Makes a good massing material. Easy to dug up and transplant. Nice, soft foliage feels good.

Positive

On Feb 19, 2010, braun06 from Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is my favorite ornamental grass. It is best used in masses where its fine texture can attract the most attention. It is great when contrasted against coarse textured perennials. It is easy and carefree. Here in Illinois it does self seed well, being native, but these plants are slower to establish and easy to pull by hand when caught young enough. In native prairies they are a climax species, establishing themselves later than other quick emerging plants.

Positive

On Jul 30, 2009, Corabella from Burlington, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a gorgeous perennial grass. In zone 5a, I have this in both full sun and part shade. When grown in shade, the habit is more "floppy" yet still beautiful. In late summer, the panicles are very tall, airy and smell like popcorn. A great reliable ornamental grass for the north.

Negative

On May 29, 2009, shelly80504 from Longmont, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

This unattractive short-grass spreads like wildfire. If I'd known I never would have planted it, as I now have to pull it like a weed from every corner of my yard (even out of the rocks).

I HATE it!!!

Positive

On Feb 10, 2006, bigcityal from Menasha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have this plant as Northern Dropseed
It is very well behaved