Sporobolus cryptandrus giganteus (Nash) M.E.Jones
Sporobolus cryptandrus robustus Vasey
Common Name: Giant Dropseed
Sporobolus giganteus is a robust, clump-forming perennial grass with erect culms that can grow 100 - 200cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is used within its native range to stabilize soils, especially on sandy dunes.
Southern N. America - Utah to Kansas, south to Arizona, northern Mexico, New Mexico and Texas
Mesas and sandhills[
]. Sand dunes and sandy areas along rivers and roadsides; at elevations from 100 - 1,830 metres[
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Succeeds in any well drained soil in a sunny position[
Seed - raw or cooked[
]. It can be ground into a flour and cooked as a porridge[
], or can be used as a cereal substitute when making bread, cakes etc. An easily harvested seed, but it is very small and its use as a food has almost disappeared[
The plant is used in N. America in stabilization projects on sandy dunes[
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.
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.