Prairie Dropseed

Prairie Dropseed

If you want to start a prairie garden, I recommend that you first plant Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepsis). If you have a perennial garden, place Prairie Dropseed between the plants. It grows in whorled, arching mound, 2-3′ tall and around. In late July-early August, delicate, fragrant, airy panicles of flowers begin to emerge on stiff stems 2-3′ above the foilage; the ripe seed drops by the end of September.

To my mind it is a much better grass than Fountain Grass, which is used so often. But Fountain Grass has a rather wispy look and frequently winter kills. Prairie Dropseed has a much more robust appearance, while still appearing graceful. It is hard up into Canada.

Prairie Dropseed with Showy Black-eyed Susan edges an entry walk

Prairie Dropseed as a matrix for Pale Purple Coneflower

Entrance Garden at Morton Arboretum with a matrix of Prairie Dropseed

Prairie Dropseed in Fall

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5 Responses to Prairie Dropseed

  1. Jason December 17, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    Very nice pictures! I saved some Dropseed seeds from this season and hope to plant some along my front sidewalk and the back alley next spring.

  2. Mary February 2, 2012 at 5:20 am #

    Can this Sporobolus survive in south Florida. It is lovely!

    • PatHill February 7, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

      No, it only grows as far south as Georgia.

  3. Kevin Pfeiffer July 11, 2014 at 2:30 am #

    “Prairie Dropseed as a matrix for Pale Purple Coneflower” — spectacular color and texture composition!

    -Kevin Pfeiffer

  4. Linda July 23, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

    How do you people grow any of these grasses without rabbit problems. I have to cage mine till they get bigger and still they eat the sides and sometimes all of it. They pull them down to their level. Maybe you all live in the city. I am in San Diego sorta country where I am.

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