Sporobolus airoides - Alkali Dropseed, Alkali Sacaton

Alkali dropseed, along with Prairie dropseed (S. heterolepis) is a very drought tolerant grass. In the warmer zones, especially where it is hot and humid, S. airoides is the best choice. Colder zones should grow S. heterolepis.

Useful for a large-scale groundcover, erosion control and for revegetation.

Flowers are excellent for dried arrangements.

Description: warm season; clump forming
Foliage color is medium green; blade width is narrow; 30-50 cm (12-20") in height
Flowers are delicate bloom in June until frost; 60-100 cm (24-40") in height

Ideal conditions: full sun; drought and heat tolerant

Coldest zone: 4 (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)

Partner with: Sanguisorba officinalis 'Tanna', Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam', Salix rubens 'Hutchinson Yellow' (coppiced)

Season of interest: fall

Drought tolerance rating: 2 (water to root depth once every 2 weeks); further info

Recommended spacing between plants: 45-75 cm (18-30") why such a difference?

Pronunciation: Sporobolus (spor-AH-bol-us) airoides (air-OY-deez)


More ornamental grasses

Compare Sporobolus airoides to our other grasses in this handy chart.


Sporobolus airoides - Alkali Dropseed, Alkali Sacaton
Sporobolus airoides -
Alkali Dropseed, Alkali Sacaton
Photo courtesy Jelitto

from the USDA website: states and provinces where
Sporobolus airoides is native