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Waitt, Damon E.
Eragrostis spectabilis (Pursh) Steud.
Purple lovegrass, Purple love grass, Purple plains lovegrass, Tumblegrass, Petticoat climber
Synonyms: Eragrostis spectabilis, Eragrostis campestris var. refracta, Eragrostis geyeri, Eragrostis refracta, Eragrostis velutina, Poa refracta, Eragrostis pectinacea
USDA Symbol: ersp
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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
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 USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(I)
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
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Record Modified: 2011-04-11
Research By: NPC, TMH