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Prairie Dropseed

Sporobolus heterolepis

Attractive, fine, fountain-like foliage; great plant for formal borders



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Sporobolus heterolepis, commonly called Prairie Dropseed, is a clump-forming, warm season, Missouri native perennial grass which typically occurs in prairies, glades, open ground and along railroads.


Wildlife notes

Occasionally, the foliage is eaten by grasshoppers, includingTwo-Striped Slant-faced Grasshopper and Handsome Grasshopper. Prairie Dropseed is the obligate host of two uncommon leafhoppers:Red-Tailed Leafhopper and the recently described Memnonia panzeri. The seeds are eaten by sparrows and other granivorous songbirds from late summer into winter; these species include the Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, and Slate-Colored Junco.  Sometimes voles and other small rodents dig burrows within the dense tufts of leaves and root mass of this prairie grass.


Forage notes

The foliage is readily eaten by bison, cattle, and horses.

Landscaping notes

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates wide range of soils, including heavy clays. Prefers dry, rocky soils. Good drought tolerance. Ground cover for hot, dry areas. Prairies, meadows, native plant gardens, wild areas or slopes. Also effective in large rock gardens. Accent for foundation plantings or borders.

Restoration notes

Habitats consist primarily of hill prairies, gravel prairies, dolomite prairies, black soil prairies, cemetery prairies, prairie remnants along railroads, and limestone glades. Less often, Prairie Dropseed has been found in savannas, thinly wooded rocky bluffs, and grassy fens. This grass is found primarily in high quality natural areas. It is also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Additional information

Weight N/A

Packet, Ounce, Pound


Full Sun to Part Shade

Seeding Rate

8 PLS lbs/acre


Dry, Average



Bloom Month

Aug, Sep

Specialty Uses

Landscaping, Edible

Cattle Palatability


# seeds/pkt


Packet coverage area

5 sq. ft

Life Cycle


What is PLS?

Pure Live Seed (PLS) is the portion of good viable seed per pound. It is a measure of the seed that is alive and able to sprout into plants. This product is sold by PLS ounce/pound. To provide one ounce/pound of viable seed, you will receive more than one ounce/pound of product. Read more about PLS here.