Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - February 04, 2008

From: Keller, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Possible invasiveness of non-native Eragrostis curvula
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have just moved to Keller, TX and am trying to establish a xeriscape plan for our property. I chose to plant weeping love grass as I learned it was a native plant and did not require fertilizing, a lot of water, nor mowing frequently. Now I have read on the web site that it is considered to be an invasive plant. We have a total of 2 acres of land and about 1/2 of it has been planted with the love grass in a meadow like plan. Do you think this grass will present major problems in the future?

ANSWER:

As it turns out, Eragrastus curvula is NOT a native plant, but was imported from South Africa in the late 1920's. Another common name is "Boer love grass." The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is centered on the use and propagation of plants native to North America, and especially concerned about invasive plants, non-native or native. On our Plantwise: Native Alternatives for Invasive Plants list, you will find several native, non-invasive replacements for this grass. However, replacing it may not be altogether practical at this point.

Eragrastus curvula is considered a warm season grass. Keller is approximately on the border between USDA Zones 7b and 8a, meaning that there will seldom be a very long period of sub-freezing temperatures. In cooler climates, weeping lovegrass is considered an annual. In your area, it is probably a tender perennial. If you are concerned about the invasiveness of the plant, consider not replacing any plants that are damaged or killed by cold weather, and replacing them with some of the native alternative grasses found in the weblink above.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Support for non-native, invasive Nandina Domestica from San Antonio, TX
July 09, 2013 - I consider nandina domestica to be a perfect plant for San Antonio, but see that it is on the list of invasive plants for surrounding eco-areas. How should I respond regarding one of my favorite land...
view the full question and answer

Why aren't the Caesalpinia species in the Native Plant Database
June 07, 2013 - Why doesn't the Wildflower Center list Caesalpinia in its plant database? I grow 3 species in my garden with no coddling: C. mexicana, C. gilliesii, and C. pulcherrima. I underst...
view the full question and answer

Tree with taproot for Jodhpur India
July 05, 2013 - I am a resident of India. I need information of a tree with tap roots to grow in my backyard. We have moderate to hot climate here. It needs to be as small as possible due to lack of space. It'd be g...
view the full question and answer

Care of desert willows
September 10, 2007 - We have three desert willows. Two are doing well, but the third, which was planted at the same time as the others, is about 1/3 the size of the other two, the foliage is thin, and the leaves have dry...
view the full question and answer

Replacements for non-native purple fountain grass in Austin
September 26, 2009 - Hi-- Just found out that the purple fountain grass I bought (fortunately on sale) is a) not native and b)not perennial. Dang it! If I can find the pots I'm taking it back. I have a part-shade wel...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.