Plants perennial; cespitose, forming innovations at the basal nodes, without glands. Culms (20)40-80 cm, erect, commonly geniculate, sometimes rooting at the lower nodes, glabrous, lower portions sometimes scabridulous. Sheaths sometimes shortly silky pilose basally, hairs less than 2 mm, apices sparsely hairy, hairs to 3 mm; ligules 0.3-0.5 mm, ciliate; blades 2-12 cm long, 1-3 mm wide, flat to involute, glabrous, abaxial surfaces sometimes scabridulous, adaxial surfaces scabridulous. Panicles 7-18 cm long, 2-8 cm wide, oblong, open; primary branches 1-8 cm, appressed or diverging to 40° from the rachises; pulvini glabrous; pedicels 0.5-4 mm, diverging or appressed, flexible. Spikelets 5-12(14) mm long, 0.8-1.2 mm wide, linear-lanceolate, plumbeous to stramineous, with 4-12(14) florets; disarticulation irregular to basipetal, paleas usually persistent. Glumes oblong to lanceolate, membranous; lower glumes 1-1.5 mm; upper glumes 1.3-2 mm; lemmas 1.5-1.7 mm, ovate, membranous, lateral veins inconspicuous, apices acute to obtuse; paleas 1.4-1.7 mm, obtuse; anthers 3, 0.6-0.9 mm, yellowish. Caryopses 0.6-0.8 mm, ellipsoid to obovoid, dorsally compressed, sometimes with a shallow adaxial groove, smooth, translucent, mostly light brown, embryo region dark brown with a greenish ring. 2n = 40, 60.
Eragrostis lehmanniana is native to southern Africa, where it grows in sandy, savannah habitats. It was introduced for erosion control in the southern United States, where it often displaces native species. In the Flora region, it grows in sandy flats, along roadsides, on calcareous slopes, and in disturbed areas, at 200-1830 m. It is commonly found in association with Larrea tridentata, Opuntia, Quercus, Juniperus, and Bouteloua gracilis.
Dr. David Bogler, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database
Perennials, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems geniculate, decumbent, or lax, sometimes rooting at nodes, Stems caespitose, tufted, or clustered, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stem internodes solid or spongy, Stem internodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly basal, below middle of stem, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath hairy, hispid or prickly, Leaf sheath hairy at summit, throat, or collar, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blades very narrow or filiform, less than 2 mm wide, Leaf blades 2-10 mm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blade margins folded, involute, or conduplicate, Leaf blades mostly glabrous, Ligule present, Ligule a fringe of hairs, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence an open panicle, openly paniculate, branches spreading, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence branches more than 10 to numerous, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets pedicellate, Spikelets laterally compressed, Spikelet less than 3 mm wide, Spikelets with 3-7 florets, Spikelets with 8-40 florets, Spikelets solitary at rachis nodes, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes, glumes persistent, Spikelets disarticulating beneath or betwe en the florets, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes equal or subequal, Glumes equal to or longer than adjacent lemma, Glumes 1 nerved, Lemmas thin, chartaceous, hyaline, cartilaginous, or membranous, Lemma similar in texture to glumes, Lemma 3 nerved, Lemma glabrous, Lemma apex truncate, rounded, or obtuse, Lemma awnless, Lemma margins thin, lying flat, Lemma straight, Palea present, well developed, Palea membranous, hyaline, Palea shorter than lemma, Palea 2 nerved or 2 keeled, Palea keels winged, scabrous, or ciliate, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis, Caryopsis ellipsoid, longitudinally grooved, hilum long-linear.
FNA 2003, Gould 1980
Common Name: Lehmann lovegrass Duration: Perennial Nativity: Non-Native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Tufted perennial, erect or ascending, sometimes decumbent and geniculate at lower nodes, 45-60 cm tall; stems bent at lower nodes. Vegetative: Sheaths one-third to one-half the length of the internodes, open, glabrous except for sparse pilose apex of margins; blades involute, about 1 mm wide, 2-10 cm long, stiffly ascending but sometimes quite flexuous, 5-15 cm long; ligule ciliate, 0.5-1 mm lon Inflorescence: Narrowly oblong to lanceolate, open, 7-18 cm long, 2-8 cm wide, rachis glabrous to slightly scabrous, branches ascending to slightly spreading; spikelets slightly compressed, often dark gray-green to straw colored, several to 12-flowered, rachilla disrticulating; glumes hyaline, keeled, scarcely compressed, first lanceolate 1-1.5 mm, second ovate-lanceolate about 1.5 mm long; lemmas oblong, obtuse, very little compressed or keeled; caryopsis ellipsoidal. Ecology: Widespread in grasslands and along roadsides; 3,000-4,500 ft (914-1372 m); flowers June-August. Distribution: Native to Africa; now naturalized in tropical to temperate regions throughout the world; in N. Amer. from s CA, west through s UT, AZ, NM, TX and OK; south to c MEX. Notes: Eragrostis species have branched inflorescences (panicles), multiple, bisexual flowers (florets) per spikelet and components of the spikelets are for the most part hairless and awnless. E. lehmanniana is a perennial bunchgrass distinguished by its erect to ascending habit, new shoots (innovations) which are produced at lower nodes, panicles 7-18 cm long and 2-8 cm wide (16-40 cm long in E. curvula), and blades 2-12 cm long (12-50 cm long in curvula). The spikelets appear more long and slender when compared with other species of the region, being 5-12 mm long and 0.8-1.2 mm wide (1.5-2 mm wide in E. curvula). One of the most charismatic of the African introductions from earlier in the century, it was used as an erosion control and range revegetation plant, but now it is changing fire-regimes and altering greater areas every year, often the first and sometimes only grass greening up in the landscape. It can dominate landscapes in some areas, with few other plants interspersed as it tends to crowd out native species. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Eragrostis is from Greek eros, love and agrostis, grass, lehmanniana is named for German botanist Johann Georg Christian Lehmann (1792-1860). Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, 2014, FSCoburn 2014, AHazelton 2015