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Species Spotlight: Sand Dropseed

We’ve been talking a lot about the “big four” grasses of the Tallgrass Prairie lately. While these are the all-stars of the ecosystem team, they certainly could not shine without other grasses whose roles allow them to take hold and thrive across the prairies. One of these grasses is Sand Dropseed — Latin name Sporobolus cryptandrus

You’ll certainly see this grass across the plains of Bamert’s service region because it hasn’t been grazed out. It is a native, warm-season, perennial bunchgrass, which is easily identifiable by the dense ring of hairs at the collar where the leaf meets the stem. 

It’s widely distributed and abundant across Oklahoma and Texas. Sand Dropseed is a great option for reclamation projects because it can grow in a variety of soils. Sand Dropseed can make a great stand on sand, rock, or silt. Because of its ability to adapt and thrive, it blends easily with other species and grows quickly. It provides great cover for the more desirable species, such as Big Bluestem. 

While livestock would much rather munch on a main course like Big Bluestem, they will go ahead and satisfy their hunger with an appetizer like Sand Dropseed as it’s readily available. It allows more desirable grasses, like Big Bluestem, to thrive. It also adds to the biodiversity of the greater ecosystem. 

Sand Dropseed plays a supporting role that allows the show to go on—and more palatable grasses to thrive. This stalwart role player knows its place in the prairie ecosystem.