Weeping Lovegrass refers to its weeping or drooping seed head and the translation of its genus name Eragrostis above.
Summary:A semi aquatic, tufted annual to perennial grass with a large drooping seed head.
Leaves:Hairless. Mostly near base.
Blade - Narrow, flat.
Stems:200-900 mm high, weak, usually branched. Hairless.
Flower head:Large and loose drooping panicle at maturity. 80-230 mm long, 100-200 mm wide when the long, thread-like branches spread horizontally. Branches are and often in rings.
Flowers:Spikelets - Parallel sided. 6-18 flowered. 6-10 mm long x 1 mm wide. Lead coloured or olive green usually. On stalks 2-10 mm long. Spikelets lay along the branches. Straight. Slightly flattened.
Florets - Smooth, longer than the glumes.
Glumes - 2, slightly different lengths about 1.25 mm long, 1 nerved, transparent, keeled, persistent.
Palea - Persistent, 1.5-2 mm long. Hairy.
Lemma - Tip with shallow point, 1.5 mm long, smooth. 3 nerved with faint side nerves. Awnless.
Spikelet axis does not break up.
Grain. Egg shaped. 0.75 mm long. Produces large amounts of seed.
Key Characters:Less than 1000 mm tall. Rachilla persistent, paleas remain attached. Spikelets slightly flattened and 6-10 mm long. Palea 1.5-2 mm long and less than half as long as the lemma. Lemma smooth.
Perennial, biennial or annual. Semi aquatic. On seasonally flooded plains it behaves as an annual or short lived perennial. When growing near permanent water it is perennial. The main growth is in summer. Flowers throughout the year with a peak in summer to autumn.
Flowering times:Throughout the year in SA.
Mainly summer to autumn in NSW.
Seed Biology and Germination:Vegetative Propagules:
Population Dynamics and Dispersal:
Prolific seed production.
Origin and History:Australia.
Distribution:ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA.
Occurs in the NW of WA.
Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.
Habitats:Moist areas, drains, depressions and swamps.
Soil:Loams and clays.
Some fodder value when young.
Detrimental:Weed of irrigated areas, roadsides, watercourse, swamps.
Not grazed or slightly grazed when young.
Forms dense stands after summer rains.
Toxicity:Not recorded as toxic.
Legislation:The Wildlife Conservation Act prohibits removal of native plants from the wild in their native range on government land.
Management and Control:Thresholds:
Spray with glyphosate annually.
Herbicide resistance:Biological Control:
African Lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula)
Browns Lovegrass (Eragrostis brownii)
Canegrass (Eragrostis australasica)
Delicate Lovegrass (Eragrostis tenellula)
Elastic grass (Eragrostis tenuifolia)
Heartseed grass (Eragrostis superba)
Knottybutt grass (Eragrostis xerophila)
Mallee Lovegrass (Eragrostis dielsii)
Mexican Lovegrass (Eragrostis mexicana)
Neat Lovegrass (Eragrostis basedowii)
Neverfail grass (Eragrostis setifolia)
Paddock Lovegrass (Eragrostis leptostachya)
Pitted Lovegrass (Eragrostis barrelieri)
Purple Lovegrass (Eragrostis lacunaria)
Sickle Lovegrass (Eragrostis falcata)
Small Stinkgrass (Eragrostis minor)
Soft Lovegrass (Eragrostis pilosa)
Stinkgrass (Eragrostis cilianensis)
Teff grass (Eragrostis tef)
Woollybutt grass (Eragrostis eriopoda)
Plants of similar appearance:Drooping Lovegrass (Eragrostis leptocarpa) is very similar but has shorter spikelets (3-6 mm long) with rough and fewer florets (4-10 per spikelet).
References:Black, J.M. (1978). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P199.
Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). P32.
Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P103. Photo.
Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).
Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #506.17.
Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.