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Waitt, Damon E.
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.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct
, WV Canada: ON Native Distribution: ME
s. to FL
& AZ; also Mex. Native Habitat:
Sandy or disturbed sites; plains; open woods
Growing ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: High
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagate by seed or division of clump.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2011-04-11
Research By: NPC, TMH