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PlantFiles: 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)

10 vendors have this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

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


Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

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:

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

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There are a total of 23 photos.
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4 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb 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 braun06 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 Corabella 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 shelly80504 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 bigcityal On Feb 10, 2006, bigcityal from Menasha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

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


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

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