More Information About Eragrostis
What a fitting name! We are sure you will love the ornamental grass genus Eragrostis as much as we do. The genus name itself was created in 1776 by Nathaniel Wolf who gave no background for his name selection. The most popular etymology of eragrostis is that the name comes from the Greek "eros" (love) and "agrostis" (herb/grass), however other Greek prefixes such as "er" (early), "era" (earth) or "eri" (much) also make sense.
Eragrostis is the largest genus in the grass family with over 350 members worldwide. While many species are annuals or weeds, some (like E. spectabis, E. curvula, E. trichodes, and E. elliotii) make beautiful perennial ornamental grasses for the summer garden. Eragrostis looks best in summer and fall when the clumps are covered with attractive seed heads and the leaves have turned a bluish or bronzy color. Imagine a mass planting of lovegrass on an open hillside...what a lovely sight that would be. Eragrostis is also known to prevent soil erosion, so now you have two great reasons to plant it.
Eragrostis is both a versatile and valuable genus for humans. Bahia lovegrass is used in phytoremediation projects because it hyperaccumulates toxic caesium-137 from the soil. In Africa, eragrostis is an important grain crop, producing edible grains that have been used for thousands of years. The leaves are used as fodder for livestock and as a food source for wildlife. The caterpillars of certain butterfly species (skippers) feed on the grass and sparrows like to eat the seeds. In gardens, Eragrostis makes a wonderful drought-tolerant groundcover ornamental grass for full sun that tolerates poor and sandy soil. The plants will grow into clumps that can be divided every few years, so you will have plenty of love (grass) to spread around. A yearly haircut is all that is needed to keep the clump looking nice.
Eragrostis would make a great addition to a romantic garden. You could horticulturally serenade your sweetheart by combining lovegrass with
bleeding heart (dicentra), purple heart (setcreasea), forget-me-not (myosotis), Viagra Lily (dracunculus), Bletilla 'First Kiss', Dianthus 'First Love', Hosta 'Love Pat' or 'Pure Heart', Sarracenia 'Lovebug', Iris 'Cajun Love', Sinningia 'Lovely', Salvia 'Endless Love', Origanum 'Hot and Spicy', Echinacea 'Secret Passion', Zephyranthes Redneck Romance Strain, and Cyclamen 'Sweetheart Splash'. Ooh la la! When you are ready to buy eragrostis for your garden, check out our online list of eragrostis for sale.