E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Sporobolus cryptandrus (Torr.) A. Gray
sand dropseed
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #29995)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Sporobolus cryptandrus
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Species Information

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Perennial, strongly tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems solid, more or less strongly grooved, mostly 30-70 (100) cm tall.
Sheaths open, smooth except along the margins and especially at the throats where strongly fringed with fine woolly hairs; blades usually in-rolled, 2-4 (5) mm wide, mostly smooth but very strongly soft-hairy along the margins bordering the ligules, the collars with numerous, long, usually divergent hairs (1) 2-3 mm long; ligules 0.5-0.7 mm long.
Inflorescence a moderately open, spikelike panicle, (9) 10-20 (30) cm long, generally partially included in the sheaths, the branches simple to again branched, usually stiffly ascending, bearing spikelets to near the base; spikelets 1-flowered; glumes sharp-pointed, unequal, the lower ones about 1 mm long, the upper ones about twice as long; lemmas sharp-pointed, 2-3 mm long, paleas nearly equal to the lemmas; lodicules fan-shaped, about 0.2 mm long; anthers 0.5-1 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry grasslands and shrublands in the steppe and montane zones; rare in SC and SE BC; E to SW PQ and NB and S to ME, MA, PA, NC, GA, MS, LA, TX, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Sporobolus cryptandrus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 225 553 1940
Slope Gradient (%) 0 24 170
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
4 196 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(285), ESSF(2), ICH(1), IDF(14), MS(2), PP(27)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Agrostis cryptandra Torr.
Sporobolus cryptandrus subsp. fuscicola (Hook.) E.K. Jones & Fassett
Sporobolus cryptandrus subsp. typicus
Sporobolus cryptandrus var. fuscicola (Hook.) Pohl
Sporobolus cryptandrus var. occidentalis E.K. Jones & Fassett
Sporobolus cryptandrus var. strictus Scribn.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References