|Common name:||African lovegrass|
|Scientific name:||Eragrostis curvula (Schrad.) Nees|
|Other scientific name/s:|
|Other common name/s:|
Catchment management authority boundaries
Regionally controlled in the North Central, Corangamite, Port Phillip and Western Port, Goulburn Broken, North East, West Gippsland and East Gippsland catchments
Restricted in the Mallee, Wimmera and Glenelg Hopkins catchments
Herbaceous plant – Graminoid (grass, sedge or rush)
African lovegrass is a densely-tufted perennial grass growing between 20-120 cm high.
African lovegrass has slender, robust stems which are sometimes bent at the lower nodes.
The leaves of African lovegrass are dark green to blue-green in colour. The blades are narrow, 3 mm wide and 25-35 cm long. They are narrowly tapered and often curl near the tips. The leaf margins are often folded or rolled inwards. The basal sheath around the stem is yellowish or purplish and keeled and marked with striations. Between the leaf blade and the sheath is a conspicuous ring or beard of hairs.
African lovegrass has grey or leaden-green flowers which grow in groups of four to thirteen and are 4-10 mm long and 1-1.5 mm wide. Flower heads vary from compact to loose and form spreading panicles 6-30 cm long and up to 20 cm wide.
|Seeds||The seeds of African lovegrass are creamy to dark-orange or almost brown in colour. They are 0.3-0.7 mm long and ripe seed is present from January to March.|
The roots of African lovegrass are fibrous and grow mainly in the upper 50 cm of soil.
Growth and lifecycle
Method of reproduction and dispersal
African lovegrass seeds germinate in autumn or spring, given adequate moisture. Seeds can be spread short distances by wind and also by animals, machinery, vehicles and in hay. Seeds are readily spread during road construction in contaminated soils.
Rate of growth and spread
Growth of African lovegrass slows or stops in winter, but it is a highly persistent summer-growing tussock grass. It can dominate over-grazed pastures by remaining ungrazed by animals and developing into thick infestations.
African lovegrass originated in southern Africa.
African lovegrass favours acidic sands and sandy-loam soils in the 400 mm to 700 mm annual rainfall belt.
African lovegrass was first identified in a few scattered locations in Victoria, but is now found in most regions and is a particular problem in irrigated areas. It is common in the Gippsland Lakes district and the Wimmera and Mallee regions.
The icons on the calendar below represent the times of year for flowering, seeding, germination, the dormancy period of African lovegrass and also the optimum time for treatment.
Agricultural and economic impacts
The young growth of African lovegrass, before production of seed heads, is generally palatable and nutritious to stock, but is produced at times when feed is generally available from more palatable species. Older growth has low palatability and is avoided by animals, eaten only when other pasture has been consumed. Owing to this, African lovegrass can spread and dominate sparse, over-grazed pastures, forming pure, dense infestations.
Prescribed measures for the control of noxious weeds
- Application of a registered herbicide
Important information about management and control of invasive plants
Other management techniques (if applicable)
Changes in land use practices and spread prevention may also support African lovegrass managment after implementing the prescribed measures above.
Parsons, W.T. and Cuthbertson, E.G. (1992) Noxious Weeds of Australia. Melbourne, Inkata Press.
Walsh, N.G. (1994) Eragrostis. Pp 560-568 in Walsh, N.G. and Entwisle. T.J. (Eds.) Flora of Victoria Volume 2 Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Melbourne, Inkata Press.
Williams, Ross & Faithful, Ian. 1997. Landcare Note: LC0189 African lovegrass. Department of Primary Industries, Victoria.
Martin, Melanie & Roberts, Alan. 2006. Landcare Note: LC0189 African lovegrass (update). Department of Primary Industries, Victoria.
Shorten, Chris. 2007. Landcare Note: LC0189 African lovegrass (update). Department of Primary Industries, Victoria.
Carter, Ivan, Strachan, John, James, John. 2007. Landcare Note: LC0189 African lovegrass (update). Department of Primary Industries, Victoria.
Department of Primary Industries, NSW, Calendar of growth Cycle & Control times for weeds of the south Coast http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/154505/calendar-weeds-south-coast.pdf