PURPLE LOVEGRASS
File Size: 178 KB
 
Eragrostis spectabilis   (Pursh ) Steud.
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 10-30 inches
Family: Poaceae - Grass Family
Flowering Period:   August, September
Culms: Stiffly erect to arching, rigid, glabrous.
Blades: Flat, 4 to 16 inches long, to 1/3 inch wide, firm, stiffly ascending, often with long hairs on upper surface near base; margins usually rolling inward when dry.
Sheaths: Margins overlapping, collar and upper margins with long hairs.
Ligules: Short membranes backed by ring of hairs.
Inflorescences: Open panicles, 6 to 24 inches long, 4 to 16 inches wide, loosely flowered, about 2/3 height of plant; branches 3 to 10 inches long, somewhat stiff and ascending, spreading at maturity, reddish purple, lower branches shorter than middle branches, branch axils with long hairs.
Spikelets: Numerous, on stiff stalks, linear-oblong, about 1/4 inch long, 5-12-flowered, flattened, purplish; awns absent; glumes and lemmas sharply pointed.
Habitat: Dry or moist pastures, roadsides, and waste areas, often on sandy sites.
Distribution: Principally east 2/3 of Kansas.
Forage Value: Purple lovegrass has fair forage value when young. Cattle will not graze mature plants.
Uses: It provides nesting cover for some game birds.
Comments: Tufted. After maturity, the inflorescences often break loose and roll like tumbleweeds.

Purple lovegrass
178 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Purple lovegrass ligule
80 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Purple lovegrass spikelets
65 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas