Eragrostis curvula (Schrad.) Nees

weeping lovegrass

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Originally introduced from Africa, weeping lovegrass is a rare visitor to New England, having been collected from waste areas in Massachusetts and Rhode Island; indeed, it reaches the northern edge of its range in our region. It gets its common name from its tufts of long, curving leaves and nodding panicles, which enhance its value as an ornamental grass. It also has been planted widely to reclaim eroded soils. Birds and small mammals feast on its ripe seeds, and livestock graze young plants. This grass also supports a diverse insect fauna including cinch bugs, seed bugs, leafhoppers, and turtle bugs.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), grassland

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
Leaf blade width
1–3 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
4–10 mm
Glume relative length
neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
Awn on glume
the glume has no awn
One or more florets
there is more than one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
0 mm
Leaf ligule length
0.6–1.5 mm
Anther length
0.6–1.2 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    0.6–1.2 mm
    Anther number
    3
    Awn on glume
    the glume has no awn
    Floret lower bract texture
    the lemma is thin and flexible
    Floret types within spikelet
    all the florets within a spikelet are similar
    Glume relative length
    neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
    Glume veins
    1
    Inflorescence arrangement
    the spikelets are uniform
    Inflorescence axis orientation
    • the inflorescence axis is arched or curved outward
    • the inflorescence axis is straight
    Inflorescence branches
    the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
    Inflorescence length
    160–400 mm
    Inflorescence type (general)
    the spikelets are borne on stalks or on branches
    Inflorescence type (specific)
    the inflorescence is branched, and the branches do NOT both grow from the same side of the plant AND look like spikes
    Lemma awn base
    NA
    Lemma awn length
    0 mm
    Lemma awn number
    the lemma has no awn
    Lemma base hairs
    the lemma is hairless or feels just a tiny bit rough at the base
    Lemma cross-section
    the lemma is V-shaped if you cut across the midpoint
    Lemma marginal vein hairs
    the marginal vein of the lemma is hairless
    Lemma surface
    the surface of the lemma is relatively smooth (not counting any longitudinal veins or hairs)
    Lemma tip
    the lemma tip is a simple point, with or without an awn (long narrow extension ending in a point)
    Lemma vein number
    3
    One or more florets
    there is more than one floret per spikelet
    Palea relative length
    palea is one half to fully as long as lemma
    Spikelet axis tip
    there is no extension of the spikelet axis beyond the tip of the spikelet
    Spikelet length
    4–10 mm
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
    Upper glume length
    2–3 mm
    Upper glume shape
    the upper glume is widest at or below the middle
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Rhizomes
    no
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade width
    1–3 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    0.6–1.5 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is in the form of fine hairs
    Leaf margin glands
    there are no glands along the edges of the leaf blade
    Leaf sheath closed around stem
    the margins of the leaf sheath are overlapping and not fused together except in the basal half (or less)
    Leaf sheath hairs
    • there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    • there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    • Rhode Island
    Specific habitat
    • grasslands
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Roots at lower stem nodes
    no
    Stem orientation
    the stems are upright
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Eragrostis mexicana:
plants annual from fibrous roots, anthers 0.2-0.5 mm long, and upper glumes usually 0.7-2 mm long (vs. E. curvula, the plants perennial, with basal innovations, anthers 0.6-1.2 mm long, and upper glumes 2-3 mm long).
Eragrostis intermedia:
lemmas 1.8-2.2 mm long, usually rounded on the abaxial surface and hardly keeled, upper glume 1.3-2 mm long, and ligules 0.2-0.4 mm long (vs. E. curvula, with lemmas 1.8-3 mm long, keeled on the abaxial surface, upper glume 2-3 mm long, and ligules 0.6-1.3 mm long).

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Eragrostis

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

3.  Eragrostis curvula (Schrad.) Nees E

weeping lovegrass. MA, RI. Waste areas, disturbed soil.