Weed Identification

Australia > > African Lovegrass

African Lovegrass

Eragrostis curvula

Family: Poaceae.

Form: Grass

Origin: Native to southern Africa.

Flowers/Seedhead: Seed Head: Up to 30 cm long. Flowers mostly summer to autumn, but spring burning will promote rapid growth to full maturity in early summer.

Description: Tufted, often tussocky, perennial grass to about 1.5 m tall. Leaves hairless or with soft hairs having wart-like bases; appendage at base of leaf (ligule) a hairy rim to 1 mm long; blade about 3 mm wide. Seeds cream to brown about 1 mm long.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by erect, open or compact seedhead, that has a lead-grey or grey-green appearance (see photo) and leaf tips that are often curly.

Dispersal: Seeds that are often spread in mud on vehicles and animals.

Seed heads closed at first (left) open at maturity (right)

Notes: A variable species complex. Valued for soil conservation and fodder or regarded as a serious weed. Introduced for soil stabilisation. Common on sandy soils; capable of resisting drought and heavy grazing. Successfully competes with low growing weeds such as Spiny Burrgrass Cenchrus species and Caltrop Tribulus terrestris. Many early introductions were of low palatability. 'Consol' is a cultivar selected for palatability. Seedlings grow rapidly after summer rain and strategies to control it depend on providing unfavourable conditions in summer. Serious weed of road verges and may form dense swards crowding out more desirable species in pasture or environmental areas.


    Noxious Weeds of Australia. W. Parsons and E. Cuthbertson, 1992, pages 106109. Australian Systematic Botany, M. Lazarides, 1997, Vol. 10, pages 77187.

Left: unburnt Lovegrass
Right: regrowth after burning

Part of seedhead & spikelets at flowering

This weed has been included in the WEEDeck field guide as card G05.
More information about WEEDeck is available from Sainty & Associates Pty. Ltd.

It has also been included in the 'Jumping the Garden Fence' report (WWF-Australia PDF - 1.19mb) which examines the impact of invasive garden plants on Australian agricultural land and natural ecosystems.


Australia > > African Lovegrass


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