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Sporobolus heterolepis - Prairie Dropseed (photo credit: Missouri Botanical Gardens)

Ornamental Grasses

Sporobolus heterolepis

Prairie Dropseed

Sporobolus heterolepis, or Prairie Dropseed, is a Missouri native and prefers well-drained, rocky sites. Fine-textured, medium green leaves typically form an arching mound. Foliage turns golden with orange hues in fall, fading to light bronze in winter. Open, branching flower panicles rise well above the foliage clump in late summer. Flowers have pink and brown tints, but are perhaps most noted for their unique fragrance similar to coriander. Prairie Dropseed's tiny seeds drop to the ground from their hulls in autumn giving rise to the descriptive common name.

Additional:

A Missouri native perennial grass on the MSD Stormwater BMP Native Plant list used in Infiltration Basins & Dry Swales, Bioretention & Organic Filters-Informal & Bioretention & Organic Filters-Formal applications.

Prairie Dropseed Growing and Maintenance Tips:

This warm season grass prefers dry, rocky soils but tolerates clay soil. Prairie Dropseed will grow with little care for decades.

Height:

24-36 Inches

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Spread:

24-36 Inches

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Hardiness Zone:

3 - 9

Characteristics & Attributes for Sporobolus heterolepis

Exposure
Sun
Soil Moisture Preference
Dry
Average
Attracts Wildlife
Songbirds
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Fall
Summer
Season of Interest (Foliage)
Summer
Fall
Winter
Attributes
Native
Dried Flower
Naturalizing
Focal Point
Drought Tolerant
Rock Garden
Great Foliage
Specimen
Mass Planting
Border or Bed
Foliage Color
Orange
Gold
Great Companion Plants for Sporobolus heterolepis
Cranesbill Cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum 'Max Frei')
English Lavender English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia 'Munstead')
Black-eyed Susan Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm')
Coneflower Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus')
Similar Plants to Sporobolus heterolepis
Dwarf Fountain Grass Dwarf Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln')
Switch Grass Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum 'Hot Rod')
Blue Grama Grass Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition')