Weeping Lovegrass

(Eragrostis curvulva)

 

Weeping Lovegrass is a native of South Africa. It is a densely tufted, warm-season perennial. It grows to a height of 91.5 to 122 cm (36 to 48 in.), has a heavy root system and an abundance of long, thin, weepy leaves growing from the base of the plant. A solid stand of the species provides excellent protection to soil from both wind and water erosion. It is not restrictive in soil requirements and is well adapted to sandy soils depleted in organic material and fertility. It is adapted to the southern plains, southern Rocky Mountains and southern plateaus.

Though herbage is produced in abundance, it is not tender or succulent. Due to the drooping characteristics of the foliage, it provides excellent cover for small game. The heavy seed crop provides abundant food for small birds.

Longevity of the species is questionable; very few plantings are maintaining themselves satisfactorily after 20 years. Single species pasture plantings, when properly managed, have given excellent production and soil protection in portions of southeastern New Mexico. Plantings on non-irrigated farmlands in canyons west of Mayhill and similar sites in Lincoln County have lived for a number of years. It seems from testing that Weeping Lovegrass should be considered a "specialty" grass in New Mexico.

It is best to plant through fine seed boxes. Planting depth should be a maximum of 1.3 cm (½ in.). It should be planted in the spring or summer to correlate with expected moisture. Plant early enough for good root development before fall cooling of the soil.
 

SEEDING RATES:

1.1 to 3.4 kg PLS/hectare
1 to 3 lbs. PLS/acre

 

NUMBER OF SEEDS:

1,500,000 per lb. (0.46 kg)

 

VARIETIES:

ERMELO

Ermelo is a leafy strain collected from native stands in the Ermelo district of South Africa in 1944. It is adapted to southern Oklahoma and Texas.

Ermelo is more palatable than common Lovegrass. Observations indicate that it stays green longer under moisture and temperature stress and regenerates more quickly after grazing than common Weeping Lovegrass. Under good management, it produces more forage and has a greater number of slightly broader leaves.

Seeding rate is 0.6 to 2.8 kg PLS/hectare (0.5 to 2.5 lbs. PLS/acre).

 


MORPA:

The Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station and the USDA Agricultural Research Service cooperatively released Morpa Weeping Lovegrass in 1970. The original seed source was from Rietvle Research Station, Transvaal, Union of South Africa. It is adapted to the panhandle region of Oklahoma, Texas and adjacent areas.

Morpa was developed from a bulk increase of surviving winter-hardy plants that remained after the winter of 1955-56. It is more acceptable to livestock than most strains or varieties of weeping Lovegrass. In Oklahoma tests, Morpa gave superior average daily livestock weight gains for both winter and summer grazing.


 


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