African Lovegrass

(Eragrostis curvula)
African lovegrass seed head close up

What is African lovegrass?

  • African lovegrass is a pasture weed, native to South Africa.
  • African lovegrass is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of African lovegrass are prohibited in Tasmania.

How to identify African lovegrass

  • African lovegrass is a densely tufted, perennial (long-lived) grass growing from 30 to 120 cm high. The leaves are dark green to blue-green, narrow, and 25 to 35 cm long. The flowering stems rise above the tufted leaves and carry a loose fanlike grey-green flower-head.
  • Seeds germinate in spring and autumn. Growth slows or ceases in winter and plants resprout the following spring as temperatures rise. Flowering begins in early summer and ripe seeds are present from January to March.

African lovegrass in Tasmania

  • The distribution of African lovegrass in Tasmania is limited, populations have been recorded along the Huon River at Franklin and near the Hobart airport.
  • African lovegrass prefers disturbed soils on roadsides, riverbanks and waste places, from which it can invade adjacent degraded pastures and native grasslands. African lovegrass is generally unpalatable, produces copious seed, and can rapidly spread over and dominate degraded pastures.

Heavy African lovegrass infestationMature African lovegrass
Image top: African lovegrass, mature plant with seed, © Natural Resources & Mines, Queensland
Image above right: African lovegrass, heavy paddock infestation, © M Campbell NSW Department of Primary industries.
Image above left: African lovegrass, mature plant with seed head, © United States Department of Agriculture.

What is the legal status of African lovegrass in your area?

What you need to do

If you locate African lovegrass anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think could be African lovegrass, immediately contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 to report this weed.

Detailed management and control guidelines for African lovegrass can be found in the African Lovegrass Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for African Lovegrass Control. For more information see DPIPWE's Weed Links and Resources.

See also

Other useful links

African Lovegrass Control Guide

Spread of African lovegrass

  • Spread of African lovegrass is by seed. The seed is light and can be blown short distances by wind.
  • Seed is also spread in mud on footwear, animal hooves and pelts, machinery and vehicles, and as an impurity of pasture hay. An important means of spread is in contaminated soils and gravels used in roading.

Avoid the introduction of African lovegrass

  • Avoid using soil or gravel sourced from an infested area.
  • Clean all machinery used in an infested area before moving to clean areas.
  • See the Washdown Guidelines for Weed and Disease Control for detailed information on how to wash-down equipment and personnel to reduce the chance of spreading African lovegrass.

Physical removal

  • Single or small numbers of African lovegrass plants can be removed by hoeing.


  • In arable areas, African lovegrass is best controlled by establishing of a vigorous perennial pasture suited to the area.
  • Spell the perennial pasture for a year to assist establishment, and remove any African lovegrass from the sward by hoeing or herbicide treatment.

Chemical control

Herbicides for African Lovegrass Control

Herbicides for African Lovegrass Control

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