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Prairie Dropseed
Sporobolus heterolepis

A native, perennial, sod-forming, clump-forming, fine-textured, warm-season grass that is 2-3' tall. Prairie dropseed is well suited for roadside rehabilitation, prairie restoration, residential landscapes and perennial gardens. It attracts birds and provides winter interest.

USDA symbol: SPHE

General Information

Plant TypeGrass
Height2 feet
Light ExposurePart Sun, Sun
Soil MoistureMedium
Bloom ColorBrown, Green, Purple, White
Prairie Dropseed (Prairie Dropseed<div><em class="small">Sporobolus heterolepis</em></div>)
Photo credit: United States Department of Agriculture (Click to enlarge)

Tolerances

Flooding / Inundation ToleranceModerate
General Resilience5
Salt ToleranceMedium
Stress ToleranceDrought Tolerant, Fire Tolerant, General Disturbance

Pollinator Value: Medium

Bloom MonthsAugust to October
Larval Host ofButterflies, Moths
Specific Pollinators HostedAnicla tenuescens, Dichagyris reliqua, Hesperia dacotae, Oarisma poweshiek
Pollinator BenefitStem Nesting

Project Planning

Project TypeErosion Control, Rain Garden, Restoration, Shoreline Buffer, Upland Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism9
Herbivore SensitivityMedium
LifespanPerennial
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionAbsent

Range

CountyAnoka, Becker, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Chippewa, Clay, Cottonwood, Dakota, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, Hubbard, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Lac qui, Lincoln, Mahnomen, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nobles, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Redwood, Rice, Rock, Roseau, Sherburne, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wabasha, Washington, Wilkin, Winona, Wright, Yellow Medicine
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands