Paddock lovegrass

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Eragrostis leptostachya

CATEGORY: C4 perennial


  • A tufted, warm season, perennial to 90cm tall
  • Seedhead is an open panicle, which is more than twice as long as broad.  Branches and spikelets diverge approximately at right angles, giving a rather rigid appearance
  • Spikelets have many small, unawned florets
  • Flowers from late spring to autumn


  • Suited to a wide range of soil types
  • Mostly found in woodlands and native pastures, in both disturbed and undisturbed areas
  • Moderately drought tolerant and less frost sensitive than many other warm season grasses


  • Moderate grazing value
  • Digestibility of whole plants range from 41-63%, with green leaf 56-69%
  • Crude protein of whole plants 3-10%, with green leaf up to 15%


  • Produces moderate amounts of leafy palatable feed
  • Displays increased growth and abundance under improved fertility if large competitive grasses are not present.  Becomes leafier with better fertility
  • Shows increased growth in response to grazing as this tends to prevent larger grasses shading it out
  • Persists best under light to moderate stocking and fertiliser rates, but use strategic heavier grazing pressure to keep pastures from becoming too tall.  Resting during flowering will aid persistence


  • There are approximately a dozen other Eragrostis species in the region, which can be very difficult to distinguish.  Not all of these are as valuable for grazing, as they are more frost susceptible and carry a lower green leaf percentage