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Ornamental Grasses: Sporabolis heterolepis

Botanical name: Sporabolis heterolepis

Common name: Prairie Dropseed

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Photo credit: TIbrahin89
Ornamental Grasses: Sporabolis heterolepis
Ornamental Grasses: Sporabolis heterolepis
Ornamental Grasses: Sporabolis heterolepis
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Urbana, Il

at a glance

Soil: dry, neutral, sand
Zones: 3a thru 9b

drought tolerant

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description for "Ornamental Grasses: Sporabolis heterolepis "

Prairie dropseed is an amazing perennial grass for new and experienced gardeners. It’s easy to maintain, and typically one of those “Plant it and Forget it” plants, where little, if any maintenance is required. Its low mounded form allows the edge of the blades to flow throw the wind and spread its subtle fragrance as you walk past, some say it smells similar to popcorn others say its so subtle you cant notice. It can be the perfect edge ornamental grass for a perennial garden or prairie and medium green color typically can be combined to any color combination. Prairie dropseed self sows but is not aggressive and can be easily contained by removing flower heads before seeds set. Finally a simple identification feature of prairie dropseed is if you grab a bunch in your hand and try to push inward towards the crown and your hands wont move because of the small serrations on the edge of the blades of the grass, but wont do any harm to your hands. But if you tray and go outwards towards the edge of the blades it flows smoothly. So if you happen to smell popcorn in your garden and weren’t watching a movie recently give a bunch a tug and see if you happen to have Prairie dropseed. Edited by M.Tate


Praire dropseed is native to the Mid-west with a general range to the eastern United States. Making it an excellent grass species for the establishment of praire gardens.

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