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Eragrostis spectabilis (Purple lovegrass) | NPIN
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Eragrostis spectabilis (Purple lovegrass)
Waitt, Damon E.

Eragrostis spectabilis

Eragrostis spectabilis (Pursh) Steud.

Purple lovegrass, Purple love grass, Purple plains lovegrass, Tumblegrass, Petticoat climber

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Eragrostis spectabilis var. sparsihirsuta, Poa spectabilis

USDA Symbol: ERSP

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (I)

Purple plains lovegrass grows low to the ground in dense tufts, 8-18 in. tall. In late summer the fine-textured, stiff inflorescence appears like reddish-purple clouds hovering at ground level. Eventually this inflorescence breaks off and floats around like a tumbleweed. This is a perennial.

Purple plains lovegrass is a member of the family Poaceae. Grasses are herbs with cylindrical, jointed flowering stems (culms), hollow between the joints, leaves often mostly basal and tiny flowers aggregated into highly modified clusters.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: 8-18 inches tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit:
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , AZ , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: ME to MN, s. to FL & AZ; also Mex.
Native Habitat: Sandy or disturbed sites; plains; open woods

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sandy soils. Well drained open fields. Grows best on moist, sandy soil in full sun.
Conditions Comments: When in bloom, the short stalks create a nice hazy purple-red coloration especially when grown in a mass. Like most grasses. This plant grows rhizomously and can spread and it will reseed if seeds allowed to ripen.

Benefit

Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagate by seed or division of clump.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Native Plant Nursery - Sanibel, FL
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
Enchanter's Garden - Hinton, WV
Prairie Nursery - Westfield, WI

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, The - Valhalla, NY
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Eragrostis spectabilis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Eragrostis spectabilis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Eragrostis spectabilis

Metadata

Record Modified: 2011-04-11
Research By: NPC, TMH

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