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October Native Plant of the Month

Elliott’s lovegrass Eragrostis elliottii typically blooms in fall but may produce flowers in summer or even year-round. Its seeds are tiny yet prolific, providing plenty of food for invertebrates and small birds, which use the dense foliage for cover, as well. Named to honor American botanist Stephen Elliott (1771–1830), the plant is a larval host for the Zabulon skipper.



Tolerant of a variety of conditions, Elliott’s lovegrass does well in nutrient-poor soils, is drought-tolerant and can handle limited inundation of both fresh and brackish water. Its clump-forming habit makes it a great choice for a mass or border planting or as a groundcover, particularly because its foliage remains attractive all year. The plant is also helpful in controlling erosion.



Take an Elliott’s lovegrass hunt at VISTA Gardens! Search for its pretty bluish green foliage growing low to the ground in dense tufts, 18 to 30 inches tall. Notice the fine-textured inflorescence appearing like bluish-green clouds hovering close to the land. Start along the sidewalk at the Wildflower Garden where Elliott’s lovegrass borders many wildflowers. Make your way to the Monarch Waystation Garden and find it growing alongside the much larger Firebush. Can you find it in the garden surrounding VISTA’s pond and in the Native Plant Landscape pollinator garden north of the pavilion?