Family: Poaceae (Grass Family)
Duration and Habit: Perennial Grass/Grasslike
Lehmann lovegrass is an introduced, warm-season, perennial bunchgrass growing from 1.5 to 2 feet (45-61 cm) in height. Its bunch habit is somewhat open in that individuals do not form a compact crown with numerous stembases. Furthermore, although more or less erect, some stems are procumbent and these often root at the nodes. This often results in somewhat continuous stands where individuals are difficult to identify. Lehmann lovegrass has short, involuted leaves, which are about 0.06 inch (1.5 mm) wide and 2 to 6 inches (5-15 cm) long.
Ecological Threat: People interested in maintaining native grasslands are concerned about Lehmann lovegrass's aggressive, spreading habit, and the displacement of native grasses. Lehmann lovegrass has replaced Arizona cottontop (Trichachne californica), threeawn grasses (Aristida spp.), and grama grasses (Bouteloua spp.) over much of the Santa Rita Experimental Range in Arizona. Lehmann lovegrass's ability to replace native grass species is attributed to: (1) its low palatability during summer, which results in cattle selectively grazing native grasses during the active growth period and thus reducing their vigor; (2) its ability to produce seed stalks early in the summer, which allows it to maintain itself when it is grazed; and (3) its ability to establish new stands from seed after disturbance.
Biology & Spread: Lehmann lovegrass reseeds itself quickly after disturbance. It is very competitive, and where adapted, tends to replace native grasses over a period of years.
History: It was first introduced in the arid Southwest in the 1930's for range restoration purposes. Between 1940 and 1980, ranchers and government land managers established Lehmann lovegrass on more than 172,000 acres (70,000 ha). However, because of edaphic and climatic requirements of the plant, most stands in Texas, New Mexico, and central Arizona disappeared within 5 years of planting. In 1988, Lehmann lovegrass was considered a major plant species on about 347,000 acres (140,000 ha), with the majority of this acreage in southeastern Arizona.
U.S. Habitat: Desert Shrubland, Chaparral, and Desert Grasslands.
U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.
Native Origin: Africa; S. Africa (BAIL)
U.S. Present: AZ, CA, NM, OK, TX, UT
Distribution: From Texas west to California, north to Utah.
List All Observations of Eragrostis lehmanniana reported by Citizen Scientists
Lehmann lovegrass may be killed with herbicide applications, followed by seeding of native species.USE PESTICIDES WISELY: ALWAYS READ THE ENTIRE PESTICIDE LABEL CAREFULLY, FOLLOW ALL MIXING AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND WEAR ALL RECOMMENDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND CLOTHING. CONTACT YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PESTICIDE USE REQUIREMENTS, RESTRICTIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS. MENTION OF PESTICIDE PRODUCTS ON THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF ANY MATERIAL.
United States Forest Service. 2008. Index of Species Information: Eragrostis lehmanniana. Accessed 21 November 2008: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/graminoid/eraleh/all.html
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