Plant Guide > Grasses > Dropseed Grass

Dropseed Grass


The common species of this genus are very dissimilar in appearance: the panicle of Gauge-grass is lacy and open, like that of a miniature Eragrostis; Sheathed Rush-grass and Small Rush-grass bear short, narrow flowering-heads; and the panicles of certain other species show a superficial resemblance to those of the Bent-grasses.

Gauze-grass is so small and delicate that it hides beneath one's feet, and hundreds of the plants may grow unnoticed by the margin of a brook where taller grasses have been gathered. Indeed this grass is seldom seen at all, save by accident, as it were, when the student, down on bended knee, is searching for the smaller flowering plants of wet, sandy soil.

Often the Rough Hair-grass grows in similar locations and bends its great ripening panicles over the later-flowering ones of Gauze-grass.

Our other species of these grasses grow in dry or sandy soil and may be looked for in late summer and early autumn, when with a low growth they frequently cover the ground between tufts of the Beard-grasses, or rise among the slender, rose purple stems of Purple Finger-grass.

Small Rush-grass (Sporobolus neglectus) and Sheathed Rush-grass are small and very slender, with short, narrow, leaves, and very short, narrow floweringheads which, in the latter, bear anthers of deep red in vivid contrast with the white stigmas.

Long-leaved Rush-grass (Sporobolus asper), also, bears a narrow panicle, but the stem is often three feet in height and the leaves are very long.

The bluish or lead-coloured panicles of Sand Dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus) are open and many-flowered; Northern Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) bears an open, less heavily flowered panicle, and long, thread-like leaves.

Gauze Grass
Sheathed Rush Grass