Carolina Lovegrass

Carolina_Lovegrass_jpgThis family, Poaceae, is commonly called the grass family.  The genus Eragrostis is named for the Greek God of love, “Eros” and “agrostis”, a grass.  The species pectinacea means “comb-like” and refers to the arrangement of the seeds in the spike—they resemble the teeth of a comb. Carolina Lovegrass is a weed of dry open soil or gardens, waste areas, and railroad sides. Lovegrass makes up a small portion of the diet of the Brown-Capped Rosy Finch found in Colorado and New Mexico, Ipswich Sparrow found in Nova Scotia, and Banner-Tailed Kangaroo Rat found in Southwestern United States.

OtherCommonName:

Purple Lovegrass

ScientificName:

Eragrostis pectinacea

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Annual

PlantHeight:

4 to 24 inches

FruitingTime:

Late July to October

Distribution:

Throughout southern Canada and the United States ~ Statewide in New Jersey, intrusive in Pine Barrens

FloweringTime:

July to October

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Erect, ascending, many branched from lower nodes ~ Narrow leaves ~ Tufted, often densely so ~ Spiklets lead color, oval Consider the often quoted rhyme when identifying grasses: “Sedges have edges Rushes are round Grasses have joints from their tips to the ground.”