Clustered Lovegrass – Eragrostis elongata



Eragrostis is possibly from the Greek eros (love) and Agrostis a Greek name for a herb; elongata from the Latin for elongated refers to the elongated inflorescence.


Eragrostis is a cosmopolitan genus of about 350 species worldwide; there are about 73 species in Australia (58 native species and 15 introduced species). In Queensland there are 62 species. Species of Eragrostis are commonly early invaders of arable land and often
found on poor or sandy soils or disturbed ground.

Eragrostis elongata is a tufted, annual or short-lived perennial 20–90 cm tall, leafy and compact near the base. Inflorescence is 3–30 cm long, with spikelets in compact interrupted clusters. It flowers and fruits in response to rain.

Distribution and Habitat

This grass is native to Australia and it also occurs in Papua New Guinea and the Moluccas. It was introduced to Hawaii and Florida in the U.S.A. and to the West Indies.

It grows on a wide range of soil types, often in or near alluvial, well watered habitats, also on beach dunes, in rocky gullies and on disturbed sites.

Ecological Notes

Eragrostis elongata produces many seeds which germinate quickly; therefore will self propagate on revegetation sites. The seeds provide food for finches.


This species produces lots of seeds, which germinate easily; storage of one month is required to overcome dormancy.


  • Gardner CA (1952) Flora of Western Australia Vol. 1, Part 1. In ‘Gramineae’. (Government Printer:Perth)
  • Jacobs SWL, Whalley RDB, Wheeler DJB (2008) ‘Grasses of New South Wales (Fourth Edition).’ (University of New England: Armidale)
  • Sharp D, Simon BK (2002) AusGrass: grasses of Australia. CD-ROM, Version 1.0. (Australian Biological Resources Study: Canberra, and Environmental Protection Agency: Brisbane)
  • Simon BK (1993) ‘A Key to Australian Grasses.’ (Qld Dept Primary Industries: Brisbane)
  • Tothill JC, Hacker JB (1983) ‘The grasses of southern Queensland.’ (University of Queensland Press:St Lucia)

Related Pages

Clustered Lovegrass © C.Gardiner JCU Townsville 2012

Clustered Lovegrass © C.Gardiner JCU Townsville 2012