Eragrostis hirsuta

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Common name: bigtop lovegrass [1]

Eragrostis hirsuta
Eragrostis hirsuta NRCS.jpg
Photo from USDA NRCS Plants Database
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida - Moncots
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Eragrostis
Species: E. hirsuta
Binomial name
Eragrostis hirsuta
Natural range of Eragrostis hirsuta from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: none[2]

Varieties: Eragrostis hirsuta var. hirsuta; E. hirsuta var. laevivaginata Fernald[2]


E. hirsuta is a perennial graminoid of the Poaceae family native to North America. [1]


E. hirsuta can be found along the southeastern coast of the United States from Texas to Massachusetts, excluding Indiana and Pennsylvania.[1] It is also native to Central America.[2]



E. hirsuta is found in fields, roadsides, clearings, and disturbed habitats. [2] Specimens have been collected from open flatwoods, small limestone glade, margin of shallow pond, open sand of vacant lot and other disturbed areas, hardwood hammock, mixed hardwood forest, and pine-oak woods. [3] It is listed by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as a facultative upland species, where it most often can be found in non-wetland habitats but can occasionally be found in wetland areas.[1]

Associated species include Aristida sp., Eragrostis elliottii, Eragrostis oxylepis, Eragrostis sp., Sporobolus sp., Juniperus sp., Paronychia sp., Croton sp., Vaccinium stamineum, Pterocaulon sp., Helenium amarum, Elephantopus nudatus, Muhlenbergia capillaris, Schoenus nigricans, and others.[3]


This species generally flowers from July until October.[2]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity. [4]

Seed bank and germination

E. hirsuta has been found in the seed bank of its native communities even when herbaceous vegetation is not found.[5]

Herbivory and toxicology

E. hirsuta consists of approximately 2-5% of the diet for various terrestrial birds.[6]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 USDA Plant Database
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 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.
  3. 3.0 3.1 URL: Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Wilson Baker, R.K. Godfrey, Angus Gholson, Gary Knight, R.Kral, Richard Mitchell, Sidney McDaniel, Travis MacClendon, G. Wilder, K. MacClendon, Richard R. Clinebell II, D.L. Martin, S.T> Cooper, Ann F. Johnson, R.A. Norris, Cecil Slaughter, Bob Farley, M.J. Quinones. States and counties: Florida (Jefferson, Jackson, Clay, Leon, Franklin, Walton, Levy, Gadsden, Escambia, Suwannee, Dixie, Liberty, Taylor, Clahoun, Marion, St. Johns, Gulf) South Carolina (Richland) Georgia (Thomas, Grady)
  4. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  5. Andreu, M. G., et al. (2009). "Can managers bank on seed banks when restoring Pinus taeda L. plantations in Southwest Georgia?" Restoration Ecology 17: 586-596.
  6. Miller, J.H., and K.V. Miller. 1999. Forest plants of the southeast and their wildlife uses. Southern Weed Science Society.