African love grass

Eragrostis curvula

Also known as: Weeping love grass
Pest group: Plants
Pest type: Grasses

African love grass is a perennial prostrate or erect grass standing at 1.5m tall with blackish purple seeds. It displaces native vegetation and has low palatable value to livestock.


  • Roots are fibrous and less than 50cm deep.
  • Leaves are less than 7mm wide, rolled inwards, usually hairless and bright green to blue-green.
  • Flowers are white in loose panicles on arching stems in summer.
  • Seeds are mainly dispersed by human-mediated activity through contamination of vehicles, livestock and clothing.
  • Seeds are also dispersed by wind and water. Limited vegetative spread can occur.
  • Habitats include open areas, shrubland, grassland, coastal areas, cliffs, riparian margins, gravel beds, wasteland and roadsides.

What you need to know

Forms dense stands, displacing native vegetation and altering invertebrate communities. Low palatability to livestock and selective grazing may displace valuable pasture species.

Management approach

This is a declared pest managed under the Canterbury Regional Management Plan 2018 – 2038 (PDF file, 10.6MB) within the progressive containment programme.

Progressive containment

Pests in the progressive containment programme are present in low numbers or have limited distribution in Waitaha/Canterbury but have the potential to be highly damaging if they were to become widespread.

Progressively containing these pests, by reducing their distribution over time, is a cost-effective approach to prevent their more extensive spread and impact within the region.

The community should make us aware of any African love grass plants in Waitaha/Canterbury. We will work with affected landowners to undertake control of African love grass.

African love grass is also an unwanted organism regulated under the National Plant Pest Accord.


Any species declared a pest cannot be sold or be in a place where plants are being sold. Pest plants cannot be propagated, bred, multiplied, communicated, released, caused to be released, or otherwise spread.


Do not attempt to undertake control of African love grass yourself. Report any sightings to us.