PRAIRIE DROPSEED

Sporobolis heterolepsis

Prairie Dropseed, Sporobolis heterolepsis

One of the most versatile native plants for contemporary landscapes. Flowers and seed heads have a scent described as buttered popcorn. Prefers dry soils and is drought tolerant once established. Gold flowers at 3-4′

Prairie Dropseed is a fine-textured, distinctive bunchgrass with leaves that curve gracefully outward forming large, round tufts. Delicate seedheads appear above the tuft in midsummer, rising 3 ft. high. Fall color is tan-bronze and gold. Prairie dropseed is a perennial warm season grass. Snow does not flatten the plant, so it is visible even in winter. The perfect groundcover.

USES:  According to some texts, the seeds of prairie dropseed were ground by the Kiowa of the Great Plains to make flour. The Ojibwa used it as medicine by crushing the root to apply to sores. The plant provides great benefit to wildlife. It is the host plant for two rare species of leaf hoppers. Its foliage is eaten by grasshoppers, caterpillars of some moth and skipper species, cattle, bison and horses.

SPECS: Genus: Sporobolis ; Species: Heterolepsis; Plant Type: Grass; Life Cycle: Perennial; Sun Exposure: Full Sun; Soil Moisture: Medium Dry, Dry, Well Drained; Height: 3′ — 4′; Spread: 3′; Plant Spacing: 2′ — 3′; Bloom Time: August — September; Bloom Color: Brown, Gold, Green, Pink, Yellow; Advantages: Grassland restoration, Low maintenance, Perfect for rain garden; USDA Zone: 3 — 9; Attracts: Butterflies; Tolerant: Deer, Salt; Plant Community: Recommended companion plants: Nodding wild onion, lead plant, big and little bluestem, shooting star, rattlesnake master, flowering spurge, rough blazing star, white and purple prairie clover, prairie phlox, yellow coneflower, compass plant, prairie dock and stiff goldenrod.;