Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Elliott's Lovegrass - Eragrostis elliottii   S. Watson
Members of Eragrostis with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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AuthorS. Watson
DistributionOuter Coastal Plain and Outer Banks/barrier islands only. Records from farther west prove to be E. refracta.

Coastal Plain, NC to southern FL and southeastern TX; Mex., C.A., S.A.
AbundanceRare on the mainland, to uncommon (at least locally) on the Outer Banks and barrier islands. The NCNHP's State Rank of S1, without even listing it as Significantly Rare or Watch List, is odd, but in reality the species is not overly rare, and the website editors suggest a State Rank of S2S3.
HabitatMaritime wet grasslands, interdune swales, margins of brackish and fresh-tidal marshes, Longleaf Pine savannas with calcareous influence.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting September-November.
IdentificationThe stems generally are 1-2 feet tall, with an equally long (and nearly as wide) inflorescence. The inflorescence is very open and airy, with spikelets strongly divergent from the branches. The spikelets are slender and composed of 9-30 florets; the stalks are much longer than the spikelets. It is very similar to E. refracta, which has spikelets appressed to the branches and stalks shorter than spikelets. Note that the drawings of these two species in Godfrey and Wooten (1979) are reversed!
Taxonomic CommentsNatureServe lists this taxon as E. campestris.

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)Field Lovegrass (the name for E. campestris), which is generally no longer in use.
State RankS1 [S2S3]
Global RankG5
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