Common Name: Prairie Dropseed, Ornamental Grass Grass Sporobolus Heterolepsis

Height: 36.0-40.0 Inches

Spread: 20.0-24.0 Inches

Hardiness Zones: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9

Flower Color: Tan shades

Foliage Color: Green shades

Sunlight: Full Sun (> 6 hrs. Direct Sun)

Water Requirements: Low Water Needs

Soil Quality: Average Soil Quality or Fertile Soil Quality

Soil Chemistry: Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0) or Alkaline Soil (pH > 7.0)

Bloomtime: Late Summer

Attracts Wings: Attracts Songbirds

Seasonal Interest: Fall Color

Growth Rate: Slow

Garden Style: Patio Container, Eclectic, Prairie

Other Features: Border Plant, Container, Cut Flower, Cut Foliage, Drought Tolerant, Fragrant Flowers, Mass Planting, Specimen, Focal Point

Origin: Native to North America


This is a new seed strain of the native grass known for its hair-like foliage and mass planting appeal. 'Gone with the Wind' is shorter than the species, but still maintains many of the characteristics that made this type of grass popular. Its short, green foliage is topped by wispy, airy and aromatic tan flower panicles. The plant, as the name suggests, gently sways with the wind, creating unique movement in the garden. Foliage takes on red overtones in late fall.

This grass is very heat and drought tolerant because it is deep rooted. It is often planted en masse as a groundcover or as a specimen.

Prairie Dropseed is native to North American prairies and occurs naturally from Canada to Texas. Much of it has been destroyed by overgrazing and farming, so now it is only found in undisturbed prairies. Native Americans once used its seeds to make flour. This plant gets its name from the way the tiny mature seeds drop to the ground in the fall. Birds and other wildlife depend on this plant as a nutritious food source.


Gardening Tips:

This plant tolerates a wide range of conditions including clay soil, but grows best in well-drained, dry, rocky soil and full sun. It can tolerate light shade, but in too much shade it will flop. This plant is extremely heat and drought tolerant once established. However, some summer watering may be required in arid western climates.

Prairie Dropseed is a slow growing grass that takes about three years to mature. However, it is well worth the wait since mature clumps are spectacular. Mature clumps can live for decades without the need for division. No serious pests or diseases are known to effect this plant. Propagate it by seed in fall or by division in spring.