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Prairie Dropseed

Charles Schwartz Memorial Garden

Scientific Name: Sporobolus heterolepis

Order: Poales

Family: Poaceae

Type: Perennial

Endangered Status: n/a

Number of Recorded Individuals at the Zoo: 2976

Prairie dropseed is a fine-textured grass with green leaves that form an arching mound. The plant’s pink and brown flowers emit a unique fragrance and bloom in late summer. This perennial prefers average, dry, well-drained soil in full sun and is useful in native gardens, foundation plantings, and mass plantings. Prairie dropseed benefits many animals, providing seeds for birds in late summer through winter and housing small mammals that dig burrows in its foliage. Two uncommon leafhopper species depend on the plant to complete their life cycle.

Native Range
North America

USDA Hardiness Zone
3–9

Average Mature Height
3 feet

Flower Color
Pink and brown

Flowering Months
August–October

Supports
Birds and small mammals

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