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Eragrostis

Love Grass
Poaceae (Gramineae)
Ornamental grasses and grasslike plants

Only a few love grasses are cultivated in gardens. These form graceful clumps of fine-textured foliage; airy floral plumes float like clouds above the leaves. Useful as textural accents or as bank or groundcovers. All are drought-tolerant and need excellent drainage; they grow best in sandy soils. They reseed readily. Plants are tough and carefree; cut back to a few inches tall in late fall or winter to make way for new spring growth.

Eragrostis curvula
Eragrostis curvula

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Eragrostis curvula

From southern Africa and India. Billowing mass of slender, dark green, hairlike leaves reaches 3 ft. tall and wide. In summer, lavender-gray flower plumes increase plant height to 4 ft. Foliage picks up yellow and bronzy hues in cold weather. Evergreen in mild-winter zones. Excellent for massing. Tolerates almost any soil and may be used to control erosion.

Eragrostis spectabilis (photo courtesy of Gilles Delacroix/Garden World Images)
Eragrostis spectabilis (photo courtesy of Gilles Delacroix/Garden World Images)

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Eragrostis spectabilis

Native from Maine to Minnesota, south to Florida, Arizona, and Mexico. Light green leaves form a compact clump to about 1 1/2 ft. high and wide. In late summer, plants are covered with wispy clouds of rosy purple plumes that increase the overall height to 2 ft. Leaves turn reddish purple in fall, when flowers have faded to soft cream. Good color combination with gray-leafed plants.

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