One of the easy to grow native and very showy grasses with good ecological value!
Prairie dropseed is a major component of the prairie ecosystem along with big bluestem and indian grass. Ranging across North America from the Rocky Mountains
It forms large, arching mounds of deep green, very narrow leaves and airy graceful flower panicles in late summer.
Full size with flowers is about 2.5' tall and 3' wide, so leave some room for it.
The lightly fragrant pink and brown flowers spray cloud-like above the foliage clumps. If planted in masses, the fragrance is noticeble even in longer distances.
In the fall, dropseed clumps turn a beautiful golden-orange, then turn beige for the winter.
Native to central USA, upper Midwest and bigger part of Canada, see the USDA distribution map.
Hardy in zones 3 to 9.
Drought and black walnut tolerant.
Best in full sun and average to dry soil. Can be a bit slow to establish, but is pretty long-living, and will thrive in poor, dry, gravelly, or shallow soil, and it can be useful for controlling soil erosion. Excellent for urban landscaping - it will tolerate extreme temperatures and disturbed urban soils in traffic islands, big city containers, green roofs, but looks perfect in any planting.
It will attract garsshoppers, leafhoppers. The seeds are eaten by songbirds from late summer into winter (Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, and Slate-Colored Junco). Provides nesting material for native bees (Xerxes).
Pairs well with Asclepias tuberosa, Aster (A. oblongifolius, Aster laevis, Aster novi-angliae), Baptisia, Coreopsis, Echinacea, Penstemon, Sedum telephium, Schizachyrium scoparium and many other perennials.
Pot Size : square 3.5" x 5" deep pot
Pictures copyright : US Perennial nursery