Eragrostis elliottii

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Eragrostis elliottii
Erag elli.jpg
Photo by George Kish, Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae ⁄ Gramineae
Genus: Eragrostis
Species: E. elliottii
Binomial name
Eragrostis elliottii
S. Watson
ERAG ELLI dist.jpg
Natural range of Eragrostis elliottii from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: field lovegrass; Elliott's lovegrass

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: none[1]

Varieties: none[1]


This species is strongly glaucous.[2]

Generally, for the Eragrostis genus, they are "annuals or perennials from short rhizomes or hardened bases. Glumes similar, shorter than lowest lemma. Florets more than 2. Lemmas 3-nerved, paleas persistent, ciliate."[3]

Radford (1964) explains that E. elliottii is similar to E. refracta. And states that the "lateral spikeletes shorter than pedicels, not appressed."[3]


E. elliottii is distributed along the southeastern Coastal Plain from North Carolina south to Florida and west to Texas.[1] It is also native to the U.S. Virgin Islands.[4]



Generally, this E. elliottii can be found in maritime wet grasslands, Ultisol wet pine savannas, inland edges of brackish marshes and freshwater tidal marshes, and calcareously-influenced wet pine savannas.[1] It does well in open canopy areas on longleaf pine habitats.[5] Sandhill community.[6] Does not do well in highly disturbed areas (such as clear cutting).[5] This species has also been observed to occur in sand ridges of longleaf pine and turkey oak woodlands, clearings in coastal hammocks, marshy boarders of cypress-gum ponds, oak woodlands, interdune depressions, sandy prairies, and open grassy limestone glades. It does well in areas of high light intensity to partial shade in loamy sands, drying sands, moist shell sands, and peaty sandy soils.[2] It is also considered an indicator species of the peninsula savannas in Florida.[7] It is also more commonly found in native groundcover in longleaf pine savannas rather than old fields.[8]

Associated species include Panicum flexile, Eustachya,[Habenaria ciliaris, Balduina uniflora, Lilium catesbaei, Eriocaulon decangulare, Rynchospora, Aristia, Eragrostis hirsute, Pinus palustris, Quercus laevis, Stenaria nigricans, Sporobolus junceus, Schoenus nigricans.[2]

Eragrostis elliottii is an indicator species for the Peninsula Savannas community type as described in Carr et al. (2010).[9]


This species generally flowers from September until October.[1] It has been observed to flower and fruit in October and December.[2]

Seed bank and germination

This species was found to persist in the seed bank after a fire disturbance.[10]

Fire ecology

This species lives in environments that are burned.[2] One study found that seeds of this species persisted in the seed bank after a fire disturbance.[10]

Herbivory and toxicology

Eragrostis elliottii is considered to have good foraging value.[11] Cattle can graze on this species in the early spring, and E. elliottii tends to increase in abundance under grazing.[12]

Diseases and parasites

It is a common host plant of the fungus Balansia epichloe in the southeastern United States.[13]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, A.F. Clewell, R.K. Godfrey, R. Komarek, R. Kral, J. P. Gillespie, William R. Stimson, George R. Cooley, R. J. Eaton, Olga Lakela, Bruce Hansen, JoAnn Hansen, F. C. Craighead, James D. Ray Jr., Herbet L. Monoson, Richard W. Pohl, Robert L. Lazor, Sidney McDaniel, A. H. Curtiss, Allen G. Shuey, J. Harrison, R. Garren, Ann F. Johnson, A. H. Curtiss, Erdman West, Tom Daggy, Steve L. Orzell, Edwin L. Bridges, Grady W. Reinert, Ann F. Johnson, and Wilson Baker. States and Counties: Florida: Bay, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Dade, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jackson, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Monroe, Okaloosa, Palm Beach, Putnam, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Sumter, Taylor, Volusia, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington. Georgia: Thomas.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 66-71. Print.
  4. USDA, NRCS. (2016). The PLANTS Database (, 6 May 2019). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Brockway, D. G. and C. E. Lewis (2003). "Influence of deer, cattle grazing and timber harvest on plant species diversity in a longleaf pine bluestem ecosystem." Forest Ecology and Management 175: 49-69.
  6. Downer, M. R. (2012). Plant species richness and species area relationships in a Florida sandhill community. Integrative Biology. Ann Arbor, MI, University of South Florida. M.S.: 52.
  7. Carr, S. C., et al. (2010). "A Vegetation Classification of Fire-Dependent Pinelands of Florida." Castanea 75(2): 153-189.
  8. Ostertag, T. E. and K. M. Robertson (2007). A comparison of native versus old-field vegetation in upland pinelands managed with frequent fire, south Georgia, USA. Proceedings of the 23rd Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference: Fire in Grassland and Shrubland Ecosystems, Tallahassee, Tall Timbers Research Station.
  9. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Kalmbacher, R., et al. (2005). "Seeds obtained by vacuuming the soil surface after fire compared with soil seedbank in a flatwoods plant community." Native Plants Journal 6: 233-241.
  11. Hilman, J. B. (1964). "Plants of the Caloosa Experimental Range " U.S. Forest Service Research Paper SE-12
  12. Byrd, Nathan A. (1980). "Forestland Grazing: A Guide For Service Foresters In The South." U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  13. Phelps, R. A., G. Morgan-Jones, et al. (1993). "Systematic and biological studies in the Balansieae and related anamorphs. 7. Host-pathogen relationship of Eragrostis capillaris and Balansia epichloe." Mycotaxon 49: 117-127.