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Sporobolus heterolepis

Common name: Northern Dropseed

Native plant

I may say that this plant is a beauty or that grass is special a lot in some of my descriptions and now I’m saying that all of them pale to this grass. Northern dropseed is one of those special plants that every garden should have in large numbers. The graceful wave of the blades and the airy seed heads that have that incredible sweet scent! WOW! There is not an un-striking thing about it. Grows best in moist mesic to mesic soils. In the fall, the color will range from a clear yellow to a deep russet orange. Forms tussocks that the long blades arch from and kind of look like a beautiful green head of long hair. If you are looking to start using natives in your yard, this is the place to start. You can not go wrong.


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Plant Details

Plant type


Soil type

Dry Mesic, Mesic (Not too Wet Not too Dry), Moist Mesic

Light exposure

Full Sun, Partial Sun / Part Shade

Bloom period


Urban environment

New Construction


Prairie Grasslands, Savannas

Growth form

Colonizing / Spreading, Rhizomatous/stoloniferous

Growth rate


Flower color

Green White

Fall color

Russet Orange Yellow


Mature height
2 Feet
Mature width
1 Inches
Max height
3 Feet
Max width
1 Inches

Additional information

Loved by birds

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