Weeping Lovegrass (Curvula)

The Weeping Lovegrass (Curvula) is generally described as a perennial graminoid. This is not native to the U.S. (United States) and has its most active growth period in the summer . The greatest bloom is usually observed in the mid spring, with fruit and seed production starting in the spring and continuing until summer. Leaves are not retained year to year. The Weeping Lovegrass (Curvula) has a short life span relative to most other plant species and a rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typical Weeping Lovegrass (Curvula) will reach up to 3 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 0 inches.

The Weeping Lovegrass (Curvula) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by seed. It has a moderate ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have high vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below -8°F. has high tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Erosion control: Weeping lovegrass is used as a temporary cover for erosion control purposes. On surface mine spoil, it provides almost immediate cover on steep outer slopes where spoil is rather acidic and of low fertility.

Crops: Weeping lovegrass is used as a nurse crop when seeding sericea lespedeza, coastal panic grass, or switchgrass. When seeding black locust or bristly locust, it serves as a companion species.

General Characteristics

Eragrostis curvula (Schrad.) Nees, weeping lovegrass, is a rapidly growing warm-season bunchgrass that was introduced into the U. S. from East Africa. The many long, narrow leaves emerging from a tight tuft are pendulous, with the tips almost touching the ground. The drooping leaf characteristic gives rise to the name “weeping” lovegrass. Leaf height is rarely above 12 inches. The seed heads are open panicles, reaching a height of 30 to 40 inches and containing numerous small, fine seeds.

Required Growing Conditions

Weeping lovegrass prefers a light-textured, well-drained soil, and will thrive on soils of low fertility. Climatic conditions determine its range of adaptation. Low winter temperatures will prevent regrowth and cause the grass to act as an annual or a short-lived perennial.

Weeping lovegrass is distributed throughout the southern United States.

Cultivation and Care

This grass is easy to establish by seed. Seed alone at a rate of 3 to 5 pounds per acre, or 1 to 2 pounds per acre in mixtures with other species. Seeds will germinate quickly and plant growth is rapid. The seed is extremely fine, requiring mechanical seeding equipment to have small seed attachments. If seeded with a ‘hand’ cyclone seeder, the lovegrass seed should be mixed with a diluent or a carrier (cornmeal, sand, or fine sawdust) for uniform distribution of seed. Do not cover seed more than 1/2 to 1 inch on sandy soils; 1/4 inch is sufficient on silt loams. Cultipacking soil before seeding is helpful.Sites too steep or stony for use of mechanical equipment can be seeded without soil scarification. Broadcast seeding by air or use of hydroseeders is successful if seeding rates are increased to compensate for poor seedbed. Where possible, the soil should be scarified and firmed.Normally, weeping lovegrass can be planted after danger of severe frost is over, and anytime throughout the summer with success. Lime and fertilizer needs are similar to that for tall fescue and ryegrass when used for temporary cover.

General Upkeep and Control

Because of its short duration, there is no management required for weeping lovegrass. It is palatable to livestock and should be protected where this possibility exists.

Pests and Potential Problems There are no serious pests of weeping lovegrass.

Cultivars, Improved, and Selected Materials (and area of origin) ‘A-67’, ‘Ermelo’, and ‘Morpa’. Seed is commercially available from most of the large seed companies.

Plant Basics
Growth Rate Rapid
General Type Graminoid
Growth Period Summer
Growth Duration Perennial
Lifespan Short
Plant Nativity Introduced to U.S.
Commercial Availability Routinely Available
Physical Characteristics
Bloom Period Mid Spring
Displays Fall Colors No
Shape/Growth Form Bunch
Drought Tolerance High
Shade Tolerance Intolerant
Height When Mature 3
Vegetative Spread None
Flower Color Yellow
Flower Conspicuousness No
Fruit/Seed Abundance High
Fruit/Seed Seasonality Spring Summer
Seed Spread Rate Moderate
Gardening Characteristics
Propagations (Ways to Grow) Seed
Moisture Requirements Medium
Cold Stratification Required No
Minimum Temperature -8
Soil Depth for Roots 14
Toxic to Nearby Plants No
Toxic to Livestock No
After-Harvest Regrowth Rate Slow
After-Harvest Resprout Ability No
Responds to Coppicing No
Growth Requirements
pH Range 4.5–8.5 pH
Precipitation Range 15–15 inches/yr
Planting Density 0–0 indiv./acre
Soil Textures Coarse, Medium
Soil Depth for Roots 14
Minimum Frost-Free Days 160 day(s)
Salinity Tolerance Low
CaCO3 Tolerance High
Sustainability & Use
Leaf Retention No
Palatability Low
Fire Resistant No
Causes Livestock Bloating None

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA