Sporobolus heterolepis

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Common Name:
Prairie Dropseed
Plant Type:
Perennial, Ornamental Grass
Hardiness Zone:
Bloom Color:
Bloom Time:
Garden Height:
24-36 Inches
Garden Spread:
24-36 Inches
  • Versatile small grass excellent for dry spots & poor soils
  • One of the few ornamental grasses with a fragrant flower!
  • Important component of mixed-grass prairies that once covered much of the eastern U.S.

Prairie Dropseed is a gorgeous grass with fine-textured, deep green foliage and gracefully airy plumes. The flowers appear in the fall and have a slight fragrance to them which is similar to coriander. The hair-like foliage turns a stunning orange color in the fall adding even more interest. This grass makes a well-defined border edge and adds a distinctive, wild look to the landscape. Provides nesting material for our native bees, and birds will love the seeds. A staff favorite! Native to eastern and midwestern U.S.

Uses: Borders, Containers, Cottage Gardens, Edging, Erosion Control, Flower Beds, Ground Cover, Landscapes, Mass Planting, Meadows, Naturalizing, Rain Gardens, Rock Gardens, Slopes, Xeriscaping
Nature Attraction: Bees, Songbirds
Critter Resistance: Deer
Notable Features: Drought & Heat Tolerant, Fragrant Flowers, Autumn/Winter Interest, Native
Growth Habit: Arching Mound

Homeowner Growing Tips: Plant in soil with average to high fertility. Can tolerate clay soil, but does best in well-drained, dryer soil; tolerates shallow, rocky soils well. Extremely heat and drought tolerant once established. Slow to mature, but worth the wait, and has little to no need for division.

Photo courtesy of Stonehouse Nursery, LLC

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