Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Purple Lovegrass - Eragrostis spectabilis   (Pursh) Steudel
Members of Eragrostis with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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Author(Pursh) Steudel
DistributionThroughout the state, including the Outer Banks/barrier islands.

ME to ND, south to FL and TX.
AbundanceCommon throughout, except fairly common to frequent in the Mountains.
HabitatDry to mesic sandy soil of fields, roadsides, clearings, railroad margins, woodland openings and edges.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationThe plants are relatively short and broad, with a very open, airy, hemispheric, red-purple to rosy pink inflorescence. Two other NC grasses have a similar look in the field -- Digitaria cognata has spikelets that are rounded or hemispheric in cross-section (vs. flattened), and Muhlenbergia capillaris also has flattened spikelets, but they are only one-flowered (vs. 6-12 flowers in E. spectabilis).
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Species in the genus Eragrostis -- the lovegrasses -- often have inflorescences that are larger than the rest of the plant. Such inflorescences are very open and airy, but other species have more contracted inflorescences. Each spikelet is laterally compressed and contains few to many florets, which lack awns.
Other Common Name(s)Tumblegrass
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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