Sporobolis heterolepis

Prairie Dropseed

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Plant Description

Prairie dropseed is wide ranging across North America from the Rocky Mountains east. It is a major component of the prairie ecosystem along with big bluestem and indian grass. It is a very fine textured, warm season bunchgrass. It forms large, arching mounds of deep green, very narrow leaves, from which feathery, graceful flower panicles erupt in late summer. The lightly fragrant pink and brown flowers spray cloud-like above the foliage clumps. In the fall, dropseed clumps turn a beautiful golden-orange, then turn beige for the winter. Grow prairie dropseed in full sun and average to dry soil. Use it in masses to create a lush, soft, windswept look. Although it is a bit slow to establish, once you have it, it will take the worst abuse in dry, gravelly, or shallow soil, and it can be useful for controlling soil erosion. Baptisia, Tennessee coneflower, and Aster October Skies would be fantastic with it.



Showy Berry Fruit

Good Fall Color

Native Plant

Ease of Culture

Easy to grow


Semi Evergreen

Plant Type

Perennial, Grass or grass-like

Light Exposure

Full sun, Mostly sunny

Soil Condition

Average, Clay, Sandy

Moisture Tolerance

Moderately moist, Dry

Pot Size



24 to 36

Flower Color

Pink, Tan

Bloom Time

Late summer, Early fall,

Mid fall, Late fall



Hardiness Zones

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9



*Currently Available*