Common name: Grass-Ornamental, Prairie Dropseed.
Zones 3 to 9.
Plants reach 24 to 36 inches tall and 24 to 36 inches wide;
Clump forming habit.
Growth rate: Slow, easy to grow, warm season ornamental grass.
Green leaves are very narrow, hair-like and grow to form a clump with a soft, fountain-like appearance. In late summer, soft pinkish brown flowers appear atop thin, arching stems held high above the foliage. Panicles are filled with distinctly sweet smelling seeds which smell like ground coriander. Sporobolus heterolepisoften turns rich shades of gold or deep orange in the fall and then light copper to creamy tan in winter.
Prairie Dropseed is native to North American prairies and occurs naturally from Canada to Texas. Much of it has been destroyed by overgrazing and farming, so now it is only found in undisturbed prairies. Native Americans once used its seeds to make flour. This plant gets its name from the way the tiny mature seeds drop to the ground in the fall. Birds and other wildlife view seeds as a nutritious food source. Though it produces an abundance of seeds, it does not freely self-seed in the garden.
Missouri Botanical Garden Emeritus Plants of Merit
Prairie dropseed can find a place in many gardens, growing only 24 to 36 inches high and wide with a mound of fine-textured foliage that turns golden-orange in fall. The flowers are held high above the foliage on slender stems and ripen into a see-through cloud of delicate seeds. This plant tolerates a wide range of conditions including clay soil, but grows best in well-drained, dry, rocky soil. It can tolerate light shade, but in too much shade it will flop. This plant is extremely heat and drought tolerant once established because it is deep rooted.
Prairie Dropseed is a slow growing that takes about three years to mature. Mature clumps can live for decades without the need for division. No serious pests or diseases are known to affect this plant.
Excellent as a border plant, container, cut flower or seed heads, fragrant flowers, mass plantings. It is often planted en masse as a groundcover or as a specimen. Attracts songbirds.
Not available for shipment to CA
Thirty (30) plants per flat (or tray). Approximate Plug Measurements: 3 inches deep x 2 inches wide.