Sporobolus heterolepis

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 Sporobolus heterolepsis subsp. var.  Prairie dropseed
Sporobolus heterolepis - Tower Hill Botanic Garden.JPG
Habit: grass
Height: to
Width: to
24in36in 12in16in
Height: 24 in to 36 in
Width: 12 in to 16 in
Bloom: early summer, mid summer, late summer
Exposure: sun
Features: flowers, birds
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 3 to 9
Sunset Zones:
Flower features: white
Poaceae > Sporobolus heterolepsis var. ,

The Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) is a species of prairie grass native to a widespread area of the US (from the Mid-West to the eastern seaboard and Canada. Taking up to five years to mature from seed, the adult dropseed can range from 1-4 feet tall and can survive over multiple growing seasons, as it is a perennial plant. They favor moist to drier soils, however, it is drought-resistant but is not found in wetlands. Its long luscious green leaves grow in bunches around a circular base and are no more than 1/8th of an inch wide. The leaves range in color from a rich green hue in summer to a golden rust complexion in the fall. From late July to mid-September, the grass blooms with rusty-tan flowers. The grass is favored by decorative landscapers because of its tendency to grow in bunches. The seedhead is sometimes described as having the vague scent of fresh popcorn, cilantro, or sunflower seeds.

Native Americans were known to ground the seeds of the grass to make a tasty flour, and several species of birds find the grainy seeds a very edible treat. Dropseed is used first and foremost, even above big bluestem and Indian grass, in prairie restoration since it is a good indication of prairie ecosystem vitality.



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