If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Temperate Plants

Sporobolus cryptandrus

(Torr.) A.Gray

Poaceae

+ Synonyms

Agrostis cryptandra Torr.

Sporobolus subinclusus Phil.

Vilfa cryptandra (Torr.) Trin.

Vilfa tenacissima fuscicolor Hook.

Vilfa triniana Steud.

Common Name: Sand Dropseed

No Image.

General Information

Sporobolus cryptandrus is an evergreen, perennial, clump-forming grass with usually erect culms that can grow 25 - 120cm tall[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
,
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is grown in native soil stabilization projects and can be used to extract pollutants from the soil.
Sand dropseed may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may displace more desirable vegetation if not properly managed. Sand dropseed is considered an invader species in the Central and Northern Great Plains of N. America[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

43
Title
Gray's Manual of Botany.Eighth Edition
Publication
 
Author
Fernald. M. L.
Publisher
American Book Co.; New York
Year
1950
ISBN
0442222505
Description
A bit dated but a good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
,
235
Title
An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada
Publication
 
Author
Britton. N. L. Brown. A.
Publisher
Dover Publications. New York.
Year
1970
ISBN
0-486-22642-5
Description
Reprint of a 1913 Flora, but still a very useful book.

Range

N. America - British Colombia to Quebec, south to California, northern Mexico, Texas, Alabama and South Carolina

Habitat

Sandy soils by the coast[
43
Title
Gray's Manual of Botany.Eighth Edition
Publication
 
Author
Fernald. M. L.
Publisher
American Book Co.; New York
Year
1950
ISBN
0442222505
Description
A bit dated but a good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
]. Grasslands and disturbed sites[
274
Title
Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas
Publication
 
Author
Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J
Website
http://artemis.austincollege.edu/acad/bio/gdiggs/NCTXpdf.htm
Publisher
Botanical Research Institute, Texas.
Year
1999
ISBN
1-889878-01-4
Description
An excellent flora, which is also available on-line.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Perennial
Height1.00 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Sporobolus cryptandrus is native to semi-arid regions of the temperate and subtropical zones. It is well adapted to sites receiving 170 - 400mm mean annual precipitation[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].
Succeeds in any well drained soil in a sunny position[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. The plant is adapted to slightly acidic to slightly basic soils
and has a salt tolerance of less than 4 mmhos/cm[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
]. Although the plant prefers well-drained and permeable soils, it can also be found in areas subjected to seasonal flooding[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. It is also found under cottonwood trees (Populus spp.) within intermittent streambeds and upland areas of playa lakes[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. Established plants are extremely drought tolerant[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].
Its fine root system allows sand dropseed to extract water at depths between 0 - 30cm more effectively than broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae). During periods of summer drought the leaves roll up to reduce surface area and evapotranspiration. It is considered to be one of the most drought resistant species in short-grass prairie[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Edible Uses

Seed - raw or cooked[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. It can be parched, ground into a flour and eaten dry or made into a mush[
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
101
Title
Edible Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada.
Publication
 
Author
Turner. N. J. and Szczawinski. A.
Publisher
National Museum of Natural Sciences
Year
1978
ISBN
-
Description
A very readable guide to some wild foods of Canada.
,
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. The ground seed can also be added to biscuits, breads and other cereal concoctions[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
,
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. The tiny seed is easily freed from its husks[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
].
Sand dropseed is a prolific seed producer. In one study, a single panicle yielded approximately 10,000 seeds. Seeds are very small; there are approximately 5.6 million seeds/lb, and 67 pounds of seed per bushel[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Medicinal

The plant has been used to create a cold infusion that is applied to sores and bruises on the legs of horses[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is widely used in disturbed area plantings in southwestern and central N. Amrerica. The dense, sand binding network of fibrous roots which can spread up to 60cm laterally and over 240cm deep effectively stabilizes sand dunes and hills. Its abundant seed production makes it a pioneer plant in disturbed areas and an invader of sandy soils. It has also been noted as an early native colonizer in sites suffering from water stress[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
]
Use of sand dropseed for revegetating soils contaminated by heavy metals has varied results. No germination was observed for sand dropseed used in a seeding mixture applied to an abandoned New Mexico coal surface mine recently covered with 20 - 30cm of topsoil. Container grown plugs of sand dropseed were transplanted to revegetate a coalfield in Utah. Percent survival the 1st year was 91%; the 2nd year, 73%. Mortality observed during the 1st year occurred only for sand dropseed individuals planted adjacent to plots of well-established cool season grasses[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
In the San Juan Basin of New Mexico, sand dropseed was used in a seeding mixture for reclaiming surface coal mines. In areas receiving less than 180mm annual precipitation, sand dropseed was dominant[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. Sand dropseed is not recommended for revegetating Selenium (Se) enriched soils in Texas. Forage tissues retain high Se levels and shoot weights are drastically lowered within soils of high Se concentration[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. However, this does mean that if the vegetation is cut and removed, it will also remove some of the selenium from the soil[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Sand dropseed is a colonizer of drought disturbed and previously cultivated lands. Invasion and establishment upon previously abandoned cultivated lands in the southern plains has been observed. Within semi-arid mixed prairie landscapes, sand dropseed is one of the 1st to colonize denuded sandy to silty soil rangelands. Sand dropseed was the principle grass within a field 14 years out of cultivation in Colorado. Sand dropseed is also good at colonizing open spaces associated with heavy grazing[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]`

Other Uses

A bunch of the grass, about 30cm long, can be tied together with string and used as a brush for cleaning[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer if they have grown sufficiently. Otherwise, grow them on in a greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring of the following year.
The seed requires overwintering or scarification for successful germination. The seed coat is very hard and impermeable. Seed lots frequently contain up to 50% hard seed; however, the seed can retain high levels of viability for many years under proper seed storage conditions. One seed lot that was twenty year old recorded 75% viability. Older seed generally has better germination and establishment than younger seed[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].
Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2018-08-20. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Sporobolus+cryptandrus>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.