Sporobolus cryptandrus (Sand dropseed)

Warm season, extremely drought tolerant, long-lived, perennial bunchgrass adapted to most soil textures but thrives on sandy sites. Fine, fibrous root system. Adapted to slightly acidic to slightly basic soils. Found on upland prairies and semidesert sites from low elevations up to 8,000 ft. Palatable summer forage to livestock and wildlife, but may increase excessively when animals prefer it less than other species. Pioneers disturbed and water-stressed sites. Establishes easily and is widely used for native restoration, controlling erosion and to stabilize sandy soils and dunes. Varieties listed below.

native distribution

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Family: Poaceae

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Graminoid

Native Status: Native

Season: Warm

Growth Form: Bunchgrass

Mature Height: 36 in.

Annual Precipitation:  8+ in.

Drought Tolerance: High

Shade Tolerance: Intolerant


Wetland Indicator Status:

Fire Resistance: No

Fire Tolerance:


Coarse Texture: Yes

Medium Texture: Yes

Fine Texture: No

Salinity Tolerance: Medium

CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium

pH Range: 6.6-8.0


Seeds per Pound: 5,298,000

Seeding Rate: 1-2 PLS lbs/acre

Season: Spring/Summer

Days to Germination:


Asotin - Source Identified selection from Asotin County, WA averaging 13-22 in. annual precipitation.

Western - Source Identified selection from Wheeler County, OR averaging 11-15 in. annual precipitation.