Scientific Name: Eragrostis hirsuta

Common Name: bigtop lovegrass

Synonyms: Eragrostis hirsutavar. Laevivaginata, Poa hirsuta

Habit: A perennial grass that grows decumbent to upright and reaches 1.5 to 3.3 feet tall

Leaves: Leaves are typically hairless on both sides except a few hairs near the base of the leaf. The margins are rough to the touch. The grow up to 24 inches in length and 3 to 9 mm wide

Identifying Characteristics: This grass can grow upwards of 3 feet tall. Its leaves are relatively hairless except a few long hairs near the base of the leaf, and the margins of the leaves may feel rough. It has a short hairy ligule that grows 0.3 to 0.5 mm long, and has no auricles. This plant will tiller, but has no stolons or rhizomes. The sheaths can be hairy with tufts of hairs near collar. The area near the collar can also have a reddish color to it.

Flower Seed Head: The seedhead is a tall open panicle which can be 1/2 the plant height. The branches can be smooth to slightly hairy. The seedhead's size takes advantage of windy fall days, which allows it to break off and roll or tumble across the ground, dispersing seed.

Seed Fruit: One spikelet can be 3 to 4 mm long and 1 to 1.5 mm wide; the seed grains can be reddish and oval or oblong in shape

Where Found: Found in less managed areas such as fields, roadsides, and woods; it is native to the southeast from Texas to Florida and from Florida to Maryland

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Plant type: Grass

  • Auricle: not present

  • Plant family: Poaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rolled in bud

  • Hair surface: hairs on basal half only

  • Ligule: hairy

  • Length: less than 1 mm

  • Seed head: panicle

  • Width: 6 to 15 mm; less than 5 mm

  • Grass stem: round