Weeping Lovegrass

weeping love grass

Scientific name

Eragrostis curvula (Schrad.) Nees     

Short Description

Weeping Lovegrass, a plant introduced grass from East Africa, is a rapidly growing warm-season bunchgrass that prefers light textured soils.

Description

Weeping Lovegrass is a non-native, perennial, bunchgrass, that is typically grown in light, coarse soils in the south-central one-third of the U.S.  Weeping Lovegrass forms a large tuft with long narrow drooping leaves.  Seedhead formation occurs in long stems reaching 30 to 40 inches.  Seed forms on panicles and is extremely small. Seedling vigor is very good resulting in quick germination and establishment.  Seed is best planted with a small seed box attachment on the drill.  Forage quality and yield is greatly influenced by nitrogen fertilization which is typical of many of the introduced grasses.  Weeping lovegrass when fertilized properly will have good forage quality unless seedhead formation is allowed, upon which palatability declines rapidly.  Weeping Lovegrass is best grown as a monoculture under rotational grazing.

Taxonomy of Weeping Lovegrass

 Kingdom   Plantae
 Subkingdom  Tracheobionta
 Superdivision   Spermatophyta
 Division  Magnoliophyta
 Class     Lillosida
 Subclass  Commelinidae
 Order      Cyperales
 Family   Poaceae
 Genus   Eragrostis
 Species      Eragrostis curvula (Schrad.) Nees

Plant Characteristics of Weeping Lovegrass

 Height  30 to 40 inches  
 Growth habit    bunchgrass  
 Bloom period    spring
 Sun requirement    full sun  
 Leaf foilage color    green
 Seeds per pound    1,500,000  
 Minimum soil temperature for germination    60 ºF
 Soil pH range    4.5 to 8.5
 Planting rate    1 lb/8,000 sq ft or 3 to 5 lb/acre  
 Planting depth     ¼ inch on clay soils; ½ inch on sandy soils  
 Planting season     late spring to early summer

Uses Of Weeping Lovegrass

Erosion Control

Weeping Lovegrass can be used as a conservation species on sandy soils to prevent wind erosion. Quick germination and rapid establishment provide good cover on critical sites.

Livestock

Good forage quality and production when managed intensely with fertilizer and grazing.

Landscape

Weeping Lovegrass can be used in the landscape for mass plantings.  The unique drooping appearance, quick establishment, and drought resistance make it a desirable low-maintenance species.  It can become invasive when the seed is allowed to mature and germinate.

Commercially Available Cultivars of Weeping Lovegrass

‘Morpa’ (cooperative release in 1970 by Oklahoma State University Agricultural Experiment Station and the USDA-ARS in Woodward, OK) ‘Ermelo’ (released by Texas A&M Research and Extension Center in Dallas, TX).