Eragrostis purple love grass

How to Care for Weeping Love Grass

Commonly known as African love grass, weeping love grass (Eragrostis curvula) is a drought tolerant perennial grass used for erosion control along hills and highways. The deep green, ornamental grass forms dense clumps that measure 12 inches long and 24 to 36 inches wide. Native to Southern Africa, the grass is adapted to warm summers and mild winters, which is why it thrives in United States Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 7 through 10. Provide the ornamental grass a 3-by-3-foot space, so it fills it with its characteristic “weeping” or drooping form and fine-textured foliage.

Step 1

Grow weeping love grass in well-draining soil with full sun exposure. Loosen the soil before spreading 3 to 5 pounds of grass seed per 1,000 square feet of land. Cover the seeds lightly to assist germination — no more than 1/4-inch in silt loam soils or 1/2- to 1-inch in sandy soils.

Step 2

Water the seed bed regularly during the first month after planting to keep the soil evenly moist most of the time. Afterward, provide the grass 1 inch of water every week, unless supplemented by rainfall.

Step 3

Protect the ornamental grass from livestock that find it palatable. If the grass is susceptible to grazing livestock, consider enclosing the area in a wood and wire fence. Keep the fence 6 feet high and use high-tensile or barbed wires to keep the animals out.

Step 4

Divide weeping love grass every three to four years to prevent them from dying out in the center. Cut back the previous year’s growth down to 6 to 8 inches with shears. Determine how many clumps you want to divide the grass into, depending on its size, so each features its own roots and grass blades. Dig out the clump from the soil to reveal its roots. Cut through the roots to divide the clump into smaller sections and transplant them to other parts of the yard.

Weeping Lovegrass

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Botanical Name: Eragrostis curvula

Weeping lovegrass, is a rapidly growing warm-season bunchgrass that was introduced into the U. S. from East Africa. The many long, narrow leaves emerging from a tight tuft are pendulous, with the tips almost touching the ground. The drooping leaf characteristic gives rise to the name “weeping” lovegrass. Leaf height is rarely above 12 inches. The seed heads are open panicles, reaching a height of 30 to 40 inches and containing numerous small, fine seeds.

Uses

Erosion control: Weeping lovegrass is used as a temporary cover for erosion control purposes. On surface mine spoil, it provides almost immediate cover on steep outer slopes where spoil is rather acidic and of low fertility.

Crops: Weeping lovegrass is used as a nurse crop when seeding sericea lespedeza, coastal panic grass, or switchgrass. When seeding black locust or bristly locust, it serves as a companion species.

Adaptation

Weeping lovegrass prefers a light-textured, well-drained soil, and will thrive on soils of low fertility. Climatic conditions determine its range of adaptation. Low winter temperatures will prevent regrowth and cause the grass to act as an annual or a short-lived perennial. Weeping lovegrass is distributed throughout the southern United States. For a current distribution map, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Website.

Establishment

This grass is easy to establish by seed. Seed alone at a rate of 3 to 5 pounds per acre, or 1 to 2 pounds per acre in mixtures with other species. Seeds will germinate quickly and plant growth is rapid. The seed is extremely fine, requiring mechanical seeding equipment to have small seed attachments. If seeded with a ‘hand’ cyclone seeder, the lovegrass seed should be mixed with a diluent or a carrier (cornmeal, sand, or fine sawdust) for uniform distribution of seed. Do not cover seed more than 1/2 to 1 inch on sandy soils; 1/4 inch is sufficient on silt loams. Cultipacking soil before seeding is helpful. USDA NRCS National Plant Materials Center Beltsville, MD Sites too steep or stony for use of mechanical equipment can be seeded without soil scarification. Broadcast seeding by air or use of hydroseeders is successful if seeding rates are increased to compensate for poor seedbed. Where possible, the soil should be scarified and firmed. Normally, weeping lovegrass can be planted after danger of severe frost is over, and anytime throughout the summer with success. Lime and fertilizer needs are similar to that for tall fescue and ryegrass when used for temporary cover.

Management

Because of its short duration, there is no management required for weeping lovegrass. It is palatable to livestock and should be protected where this possibility exists.

Love grass

Love grass, (genus Eragrostis), genus of about 350 species of tufted annual and perennial grasses in the family Poaceae. Love grasses are native to tropical and temperate regions of the world, and several are cultivated as forage or as ornamentals.

love grassLove grass (Eragrostis tef).Rasbak

Love grasses are typically bunched or tufted with flat leaf blades. Most feature characteristic glands on the leaf sheaths and inflorescences. The flower clusters are usually open many-flowered panicles and are wind-pollinated. The fruits lack awns (bristles), and the seeds are generally very small. Many species can tolerate poor soils or drought conditions and readily reseed.

Plains love grass (Eragrostis intermedia), sand love grass (E. trichodes), and weeping love grass (E. curvula) are forage species in southern North America. Weeping love grass, native to South Africa, was introduced elsewhere as an ornamental and later was used to reclaim abandoned or eroded areas formerly under cultivation. Stink grass (E. cilianensis), a weedy, coarse annual, has a musty odour produced by glands on its leaves and can be poisonous to livestock if consumed in large amounts. Teff (E. tef) is a widely cultivated cereal grain in Ethiopia and neighbouring countries and has gained some popularity as a health food elsewhere.

LOVE GRASS

Of about 250 species native to many temperate and tropical regions of the world, only a few are cultivated in gardens. These tough, carefree perennials form graceful clumps of fine-textured foliage. Airy floral plumes look like clouds floating above the leaves. Use love grasses as textural accents in containers or as bank or ground covers. They are drought tolerant and need excellent drainage; they thrive in sandy soils. Reseed readily and can be invasive. Not browsed by deer.

weeping love grass

eragrostis curvula

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11.
  • From southern Africa and India.
  • Billowing mass of slender, dark green, hairlike leaves reaches 3 feet tall and wide.
  • Purple-black flower plumes appear in summer, increasing plant height to 4 feet Foliage turns bronzy red after frost.
  • Evergreen in Florida.
  • Excellent massed; controls erosion.

elliott’s love grass

eragrostis elliottii

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11.
  • From Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and southeastern U.S. Narrow, powder-blue leaves form a clump 3 feet high and wide.
  • Airy, tan flower plumes are held above the leaves in spring and persist into fall.
  • Makes a dramatic specimen plant.
  • Wind Dancer features white blooms in summer.

purple love grass

eragrostis spectabilis

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native from Maine to Minnesota, south to Florida, Arizona, and Mexico.
  • Light green, narrow leaves form a compact clump to almost 1 feet tall and wide.
  • In late summer, plants are covered by wispy clouds of rosy purple blooms that increase the clump’s height to 2 feet Leaves reddish in fall, when flowers have faded to soft brown.
  • Combines well with gray-leafed plants.

sand love grass

eragrostis trichodes

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native from Illinois to Colorado and Texas.
  • Narrow, bright green leaves grow in an upright clump to 12 feet tall and wide; they turn buff to russet in fall.
  • Delicate bronze to purplish blooms double the plant’s height in late summer and last through winter.

What Is Purple Love Grass: Tips For The Care Of Purple Love Grass

Purple love grass (Eragrostis spectabilis) is a Native American wildflower grass that grows throughout the United States and Mexico. It looks as good in the garden as it does in naturalized areas, and is often used in wildflower meadows. Both the growing requirements for love grass and care of purple love grass are easy. Let’s learn more about adding ornamental love grass to the garden.

What is Purple Love Grass?

Eragrostis purple love grass is a North American native bunchgrass that forms a neat, tight clump. It spreads by means of underground rhizomes and also from the abundant seeds that drop to the ground. Cattle will graze on purple love grass until the flowers bloom, but it is usually considered a weed when it is found in pastures.

Several species of grass, including some weeds, belong to genus Eragrostis. Purple love grass is an attractive cultivated ornamental grass that that works well as a ground cover, in borders, as an edging along pathways, as a textural accent and as an erosion control plant in sandy soils. It looks great in Southwestern landscapes and in combination with gray foliage plants.

The fine-textured grass is green in spring and summer, and becomes covered with a cloud of fine purple plumage containing tightly packed seeds. The plumage, which usually appears in late summer or fall, can add as much as 6 inches to the height of the plant, and from a distance it looks as though the grass is seen through a pink or purple mist. The effect is particularly striking in masses of plants.

The leaves turn purple and the flowers fade to white in the fall. The plumage eventually breaks away from the plant and rolls around like tumbleweed. The dried plumage can also be used as an accent in everlasting arrangements.

Growing Requirements for Love Grass

This ornamental love grass needs an exceptionally well-drained, preferably sandy soil. It prefers full sun but will also grow in partial shade as well.

From here you simply put them in the ground at the same planting depth as that of the container they came in and water thoroughly afterward.

Care of Purple Love Grass

Once the plants are established they are tough and need very little care. The plants tolerate drought and can even be used in xeriscaping. Watering and fertilizing are unnecessary.

Cut the plants back to just a few inches above the ground or mow them down in fall or winter to prepare for spring growth.

And that’s it! Eragrostis purple love grass is easy to grow, easy to care for and makes an attractive addition to nearly any landscape.

Eragrostis spectabilis | Purple Lovegrass

Eragrostis spectabilis – Purple Lovegrass –

This fluffy grass grows native in the eastern 2/3rds of North America.Though a warm season grass, this eragrostis spectabilis emerges with blue green foliage that gradually fades to a bronze-red with fall. Mid to late summer, the fluffy, airy blooms pop with tiny seeds (yes, it’s self-pollinating).

Things to love about the Purple Love Grass:

  • Drought tolerant
  • Lawn alternative
  • Native to US
  • Meadow or Prairie Grass
  • Use in difficult to plant areas
  • Requires no water or ferilizer
  • Plant in groups of 3 or 5
  • Salt tolerant – can be a dune grass
  • Loves dry, open areas

Is Purple Lovegrass Invasive?

It is self-seeding…so like other grasses that are self seedling, it does spread. Spreading and invasive are not the same thing. As it is a native grass, the spread should be welcome. Best to plant in areas that are open where it can enjoy the stretch. Invasive generally refers to plants that bully their way into areas damaging buildings and killing the plant life.

Purple Lovegrass Companion Plants:

  • Coneflowers
  • Solidago
  • Agastache
  • Little Bluestem
  • Black-eyed Susans
  • Monarda Blue Stocking
  • Moonshine Yarrow

Thank you to Hoffman Nursery for sharing their amazing picture of the Purple Love Grass with purple blooms.

 Natives For Your Neighborhood Conservation of rare plants, animals, and ecosystems

General Landscape Uses: Groundcover in sunny moist soils. Wildflower gardens.
Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.
Description: Medium herbaceous grass.
Dimensions: About 2-3 feet in height. About as broad as tall, or somewhat broader.
Growth Rate: Fast.
Range: Eastern, central and southern North America, and scattered nearly throughout Florida south to Miami-Dade and Collier counties; Mexico.
Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.
Habitats: Pinelands and open, disturbed sites.
Soils: Moist to wet, well-drained sandy soils, without humus.
Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements: Full sun.
Flower Color: Purple inflorescence.
Flower Characteristics: Showy inflorescence.
Flowering Season: Summer-fall.
Fruit: Inconspicuous caryopsis.
Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Love Grass Seeds – Eragrostis Elliotii Blue Eros Ornamental Grass Seed

Grass Specifications

Season: Perennial

USDA Zones: 6 – 10

Height: 28 inches

Width: 28 inches

Foliage Color: Blue-green

Flower Color: White to tan-colored

Growth Rate: Moderate

Fall Color: No change

Soil Requirement: Well-drained soils, pH 5.5 – 6.5

Environment: Full sun to partial shade

Moisture Requirements: Average to dry

Planting Directions

Temperature: 68 – 72F

Average Germ Time: 14 – 21 days

Light Required: Yes

Depth: Do not cover seed. Lightly press in to soil.

Sowing Rate: 2 seeds per plant

Moisture: Keep seeds moist until germination

Plant Spacing: 28 inches

Care & Maintenance: Love Grass

Love Grass (Eragrostis elliotii Blue Eros) – Ornamental grasses add flowing beauty to the landscape and Blue Love Grass is exceptional for adding beauty. Grown from Blue Love Grass seed, this Native American grass is graceful in form with narrow, blue foliage. The airy flower plumes begin appearing in July, maturing to a tan color in August and gradually to a lighter straw color in the fall. Maintains interest throughout the winter and is drought tolerant. Other common names include Elliott’s Lovegrass and Field Love Grass.

How To Grow Love Grass From Ornamental Grass Seeds: Lovegrass seed can be started indoors in the late winter or directly outdoors in the spring. Prepare a seedbed by loosening the soil and raking it to a fine tilth, and press the ornamental grass seeds into the soil and lightly cover. This hardy perennial forms an upright clumping habit. Blue blades are slightly weeping and wave nicely in the breeze. Blue-green spikelets produced abundantly in the summer and mature in to a tan by fall. Very drought tolerant ornamental grass that is also tolerant of poor soils. Ornamental grass care includes cutting the Love Grass back in the late winter to prepare for new spring growth.

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