Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Purple Lovegrass: Eragrostis spectabilis

Weed Description:  A perennial grass weed with rhizomes that has a relatively large, open panicle that is purple in color.  Purple lovegrass is primarily a weed of pastures, hayfields, and noncrop areas and is found throughout the southeastern United States.
Leaves:  Leaves are rolled in the bud and may reach as much as 16 inches in length and are 2 to 11 mm wide.  Both leaf surfaces usually have hairs, especially at the collar regions, but some plants can be found with leaves without hairs (glabrous).  Ligules are membranous and are much less than 1 mm long.  Auricles are absent.
Stems:  Leaf sheaths are round and hairy, especially at the collar region.

Roots:   Rhizomes and a fibrous root system.

Flowers:  Seedhead an open panicle that may be as much as two-thirds the entire height of the plant.  The panicles have a bright purple tint due to the individual purple spikelets that are approximately 1 to 6 mm long and 1 1/2 mm wide.

Identifying Characteristics: The distinctive purple panicle, low-growing habit, rhizomes, and leaves that have long hairs especially near the collar region are all characteristics that help to distinguish purple lovegrass from most other grass weeds.