Sporobolus heterolepis has fine-textured, emerald-green leaves that create a magnificent clumping fountain. Also known as Prairie Dropseed, Sporobolus heterolepis is topped with tiny pinkish blooms in summer followed by pale golden seed heads that smell like fresh cilantro or buttered popcorn (depending on your nose). It is a warm season perennial grass, whose tiny seeds are enjoyed by songbirds as they drop to the ground. This plant is good for erosion control with its fibrous roots and underground rhizomes.
Sporobolus heterolepis is native to the Great Plains of the United States and Canada eastward, excluding Texas and the Gulf Coast. It naturally occurs in prairies, glades, open woodlands, rocky outcrops, and open ground.
Sporobolus heterolepis is happy in full sun with average to dry soils, including sandy, gravelly, and rocky soil as well as clay and loam. It withstands harsh conditions and is drought tolerant. It does not tolerate shade. Although it performs best if burned to the ground in fall, we recommend that it be cut back hard and dead material be removed in spring.