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Spike Dropseed
Sporobolus contractus
About Spike Dropseed (Sporobolus contractus) 0 Nurseries Carry This Plant Sporobolus contractus is a species of grass known by the common name spike dropseed. It is native to western North America, including the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It grows in desert and plateau habitat, in woodlands, scrub, and dry, sandy, open areas. It is a perennial bunchgrass forming a clump or tuft of stems reaching up to 1. 2 meters in maximum height. The stem bases are thick and sheathed by the hairless leaves. The inflorescence is dense, cylindrical, and narrow. It is a spikelike series of many small whitish or grayish spikelets.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type

3.3 - 6.6 ft tall

Flower Color
Flower Color

Wildlife Supported

Butterflies & moths hosted ( 1 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Full Sun, Part Shade

For propagating by seed: Soak in 71% H2 S04 4 mins. (2-4 okay; then soak in 1-2% potassium nitrate for 24 hrs. Germinate at high diurnal fluctuation, room temperature (60.8° to 75.2°) and 95°F. One mo. stratification instead of acid treatment may also give good germination (Toole 1941).

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
1, 2*, 3, 7*, 14*, 15*, 16*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Wet places

Annual Precipitation: 3.0" - 29.1", Summer Precipitation: 0.39" - 2.81", Coldest Month: 30.9" - 59.0", Hottest Month: 54.3" - 89.4", Humidity: 2.80" - 39.85", Elevation: -203" - 7880"

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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