TALL DROPSEED
File Size: 67 KB
 
Sporobolus compositus   ( ) Merr.
[=Sporobolus asper  (Michx. ) Kunth]
Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 2-4 feet
Family: Poaceae - Grass Family
Flowering Period:   August, September
Also Called: Rough dropseed.
Culms: Erect, simple or branched, solid, glabrous.
Blades: Flat or rolled inward, narrow, 4 to 20 inches long, less than 1/6 inch wide; tips tapered to thread-like points; upper leaves short, lower leaves quite long.
Sheaths: Usually shorter than internodes, open, glabrous or sparsely hairy at throat and each end of collar.
Ligules: Minute fringed membranes.
Inflorescences: Panicles, narrow, 2 to 10 inches long, partially or completely enclosed in upper sheaths, white or pale purple; branches pressed flat against axis.
Spikelets: 1-flowered, to 1/4 inch long; first glume shorter than second glume; tips of lemmas and palea boat-shaped; awns absent.
Habitat: Dry soils of prairies and plains.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Forage Value: Tall dropseed has only fair forage value. Palatability decreases with maturity. It tends to increase in overgrazed bluestem pastures but it decreases in overgrazed short grass prairie.
Comments: Tufted or solitary-stemmed. The name "dropseed" alludes to the grain falling readily. Tall dropseed is fairly drought tolerant. The stems and leaves bleach whitish during the winter.

Tall dropseed
103 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Tall dropseed inflorescence
71 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Tall dropseed spikelets
56 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Tall dropseed
110 KB
Riley County, Kansas