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

Coloration problems with non-native nandinas and queens wreath in Taylor, TX
February 25, 2009 - This year my nandinas are extremely red and my queen's wreath blossoms deepened in color before the first freeze browned them out. What would cause this? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Non-native gardenias in Southampton Ontario
July 31, 2012 - I purchased 3 gardenias this year for the garden. Now I'm told that I can't leave them out all year round here in mid/western Ontario. Is this true, and if so, how do I keep them over the winter i...
view the full question and answer

Invasive plants in native plant area from Austin
May 15, 2012 - Why do invasive plants grow in native plant territory?
view the full question and answer

Care for indoor ivy from Carollton TX
January 26, 2012 - I have an indoor ivy that is on a pole. The pole is breaking, and I need to separate the ivy from the pole with the least amount of trauma to the plant. How should I do this? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Request for native grasses from Hillsboro TX
August 04, 2012 - P.S. I forgot to mention one very important fact: my neighbor specifically asked for "native grass" recommendations. He thought he was getting a native grass recommendation.
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.