T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Eragrostis curvula (Weeping love grass)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Eragrostis
Species: E. curvula
Binomial name: Eragrostis curvula
Synonym: Poa curvula
Common name: Weeping love grass, Boer lovegrass, Curved love grass, Catalina lovegrass, African lovegrass, Fyngrass,

Eragrostis curvula is a species of grass native to southern Africa. It is an introduced species on other continents. 
It is classed as a weed throughout New Zealand as it quickly forms dense stands in places such as roadsides, coastal areas, riverbeds and in open country where is displaces other grasses. It is not highly preferred by livestock and wildlife for grazing in comparison to native grasses, which has allowed it to become increasingly dominant in many plant communities. The seeds are spread by wind, and adhering to vehicles, stock and people. It reseeds prolifically after mechanical disturbance and fire.

Eragrostis curvula is a vigorous, clump-forming, perennial grass. In general, it forms tufts of stems up to 1.9 metres tall. The tufts may reach a diameter of 38 centimetres. The grass grows from a thick root network that penetrates over 4 metres deep in the soil and 3 metres laterally. The roots can grow 5 centimetres per day.
The drooping leaves of the grass are up to 65 centimetres long but just a few millimetres wide, and they may have rolled edges and are harsh to the touch. The leaves are usually a bright green to blue-green (blushes bronze-red after hard frost), and usually curly at tips.
The inflorescence is a pyramid-shaped panicle with branches lined with centimetre-long spikelets. Each spikelet may contain up to 15 flowers. One panicle may produce 1000 seeds. The seeds are a blackish olive-purple (ripening greyish) and are on arching stems to 1 m long. The plant self-fertilizes or undergoes apomixes (asexual reproduction), without fertilization.





Flowering.


The pyramid-shaped panicle and the leaves curly tips.