Sporobolus heterolepis - Prairie Dropseed

Prairie dropseed is a slow-grower and takes about 4 years to reach blooming size from seed, but it will grow without care for many decades. This is a very low maintenance plant.

Prairie dropseed rivals Little Bluestem in mass plantings. True hummocks in form, imagine a Fall landscape with these burnt orange clump grasses combined with brilliant red sumac.

Description: warm season; bunch forming
Foliage is medium green; blades are 3 mm (1/16") wide; 30-60 cm (12-24") in height
Flowers are delicate; bloom August until frost; 60-100 cm (24-40")

Ideal conditions: rocky soil in full sun; drought and heat tolerant

Coldest zone: 3 (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)

Partner with: Andropogon 'New Wave', Patrinia, Achnatherum, Festuca mairei

Season of interest: August to winter

Drought tolerance rating: 1 (water to root depth once a month) further info

Recommended spacing between plants: 50-100 cm (20-40") why such a difference?

Pronunciation: Sporobolus (spor-AH-bol-us) heterolepis (het-er-oh-LEP-is)

More ornamental grasses

Compare Sporobolus heterolepis to our other grasses in this handy chart.


Sporobolus heterolepis - Prairie Dropseed
Sporobolus heterolepis - Prairie Dropseed
in September

from the USDA website: states and provinces where
Sporobolus heterolepis is native