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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4 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

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