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Poaceae, Chloridoideae, Eragrostideae - Lovegrass

(Family, Subfamily, Tribe)

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tribe Eragrostideae

Mediteranean Lovegrass (Pitted Lovegrass) Eragrostis barrelieri

This is a very opportunistic grass that has circled the globe.  It will grow where others will not.

Photos taken in Taylor County, Texas, June 2004

(Introduced, native to the Mediterranean - Taylor, Nolan, Callahan, Eastland, Runnels, Coleman, Brown)

Base: annual, clump grass, no rhizomes, no stolons (runner stem)

Blade (leaf): 1-5mm wide, 3-10cm long, mostly glabrous but with scattered hairs, tip edges roll inward

Sheath (leaf part encircling stem): glabrous with short hairs at throat, shorter than culm internodes

Culm (main grain stem): reclined, 20-55cm tall, branching at lower nodes

Inflorescence: open panicle 5-16cm long, 2-8cm wide, glandular spots or rings

Auxiliary Inflorescence: a few spikelets at the end of each sheath

Branch: ascending to spreading, wavy, not rebranching, 1.5-5.5cm long, glandular spots or rings

Spikelet: linear, 5-11mm long, 1-1.5mm wide, 6-15 flowers, on short pedicel

Lemma: reddish spots, conspicuous lateral nerves





tribe Eragrostideae

Stinkgrass Eragrostis cilianensis

like E. barrelieri but the spikelets wider and are clustered on short branching branches.  Plant has glands on nearly all parts of the plant which produces a bad odor when crushed.

Photos taken in Taylor County, Texas, July 2007

(Introduced, native of Eurasia - Taylor, Nolan, Fisher, Coleman)

Base: annual, no rhizomes, no stolons (runner stem)

Blade (leaf): 2.5-7mm wide, 10-20cm long, flat or folded, gland pits on lower rib

Sheath (leaf part encircling stem): overlapping, glabrous, hairs at throat, gland pits in keel

Culm (main grain stem): 10-60cm tall, branching at base and nodes, often bend at node, ring of glands below node

Inflorescence: dense to open panicle 5.5-16cm long, 2.8-5cm wide, short branches

Spikelet: linear, flattened, 6-20mm long, 2-4mm wide, 12-40 flowers, on short pedicel

Glume: gland pits on keel

Lemma: conspicuous lateral nerves, gland pits on keel




tribe Eragrostideae

Red Lovegrass Eragrostis secundiflora var. oxylepis (Eragrostis beyrichii)

Photos taken in Taylor County, Texas, September 2007

(Native of Texas - Taylor, Nolan, Callahan, Eastland, Brown)

Base: perennial, no rhizomes, no stolons (runner stem)

Blade (leaf): 2-2.5mm wide, 10-15cm long, flat to edges roll inward, long hairs near ligule

Sheath (leaf part encircling stem): overlapping, soft hairs at throat and sometimes down margins

Culm (main grain stem): 30-75cm tall

Inflorescence: contracted panicle 5-30cm long, 1-15cm wide, spikelets clustered on short branches

Branch: mostly appressed, 1-14cm long

Spikelet: linear-oblong to ovate, flat, 6-20mm long, 3-5mm wide, 10-25 flowers, on short pedicel that disarticulates when mature

Glume: first 2.5-3mm long, second 3-4mm long

Lemma: 1.6-2.4mm long, about 1.2mm wide, strongly overlapping, pointed, awnless, straw to reddish-purple, conspicuous lateral nerves


This specimen was cultivated from a native seed mix.  Its identity was difficult to determine.  The young spikelets are much rounder, more compressed, and the apex is not notched.



Similar Species

 subfamily Centothecoideae, tribe Centotheceae - Woodoats

Inland Sea-oats (Spangle Grass, Indian Woodoats, Broad-leaf Woodoats) Chasmanthium latifolium (Uniola latifolia)

Similar to Eragrostis secundiflora but with long pedicels and droopy branches.

(Native of Texas - not in my area)

Base: perennial, with rhizomes

Blade (leaf): 1-2cm wide, thin, flat, narrowing at both ends

Sheath (leaf part encircling stem): glabrous, tiny ligule

Culm (main grain stem): erect, unbranched, leafy, up to 1.5 meters tall,

Nodes: glabrous, reddish-purple

Inflorescence: many thin drooping branches.

Spikelet: 0.6-1.6cm wide, 2-5cm long, 6-17 flowers, flat, awnless, on long pedicels

Glume: laterally compressed, sharply keeled, 0.5-0.7mm long, pointed, 5-7 nerved

Lemma: laterally compressed, sharply keeled, 11-15 nerved


Other Species In My Area

Gummy Lovegrass Eragrostis curtipedicellata

8-24 tall.  Stiffly spreading panicle, stems feel sticky to the touch.  Poor forage for wildlife and cattle.

(Native of Texas - Taylor, Eastland, Brown)


Weeping Lovegrass (African Lovegrass) Eragrostis curvula

Drooping narrow leaves.  Open panicle above foliage, 2-4 feet tall.

(Introduced, native of Africa - Callahan)


Plains Lovegrass Eragrostis intermedia

20"-32" tall.  Blades are usually hairy at the base.  Inflorescence is soft to the touch. Poor forage for wildlife and cattle.

(Native of Texas - Taylor, Callahan, Eastland, Brown)


Mourning Lovegrass Eragrostis lugens

(Native of Texas - Taylor)


Desert Lovegrass Eragrostis pectinacea var. miserrima

(Native of Texas - Brown)


Spreading Lovegrass (Tufted Lovegrass) Eragrostis pectinacea var. pectinacea

(Native of Texas - Taylor)


Tumble Lovegrass Eragrostis sessilispica

(Native of Texas - Taylor, Callahan, Coleman, Brown)


Sand Lovegrass Eragrostis trichodes

2-4 feet tall.  Deep roots.  Good cattle forage.

(Native of Texas - Callahan, Runnels, Brown)


Other Species In My Area - Neeragrostis

Creeping Lovegrass Neeragrostis reptans (Eragrostis reptans)

Stolons with tufts of short leaves.  Female flower like Tridens.  Male flower like Windmill.

(Native of Texas - Taylor)



Also see:

Inland Sea-oats



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