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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

Purple Love Grass

Ground covers, Perennials

ERAGROSTIS

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 ground covers. All are drought tolerant and need excellent drainage; they grow best in sandy soils. 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 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 overallheight to 2 ft. Leaves turn reddish purple in fall, when flowers have faded to soft cream. Good color combination with gray-leafedplants.

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