Eragrostis lacunaria F.Muell. ex Benth.

Purple Love-grass

Fl. Austral. 7: 649 (1878) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: vulnerable (v)

Slender, tufted perennial or annual, culms erect, sometimes branched, to 60 cm high. Leaves sprinkled with fine, tubercle-based hairs, occasionally merely tuberculate or glabrous; blade closely inrolled, to 7 cm long and 1 mm wide. Inflorescence an open panicle, to 18 cm long and 10 cm wide, branches finally stiffly spreading, lower branches solitary. Spikelets 9–35-flowered, 5–20 mm long and 0.7–1.5 mm wide, commonly strongly purplish and shining; glumes acute, 0.6–1.2 mm long, subequal, scarious, early-deciduous; lemmas closely overlapping, 1–1.4 mm long, obtuse or broadly acute, lateral nerves indistinct, nearer to margin than to keel; palea slightly shorter than lemma. Anthers 0.1–0.2 mm long. Flowers Dec.–Mar.

LoM, MuM, MSB, RobP, VRiv, VVP, Wim. All mainland states. Uncommon to rare, confined to sandy or alluvial soils fringing lakes and seasonally flooded areas in the far north-west (e.g. Mildura, Hattah Lakes, Lake Powell near Robinvale), with isolated more southerly records from near Dimboola and Warracknabeal. An old specimen labelled 'Portland' seems unlikely to have been collected from that south-western area.

Sometimes confused with the very rare (in Victoria) E. falcata from which it differs most obviously in its shining spikelets, smaller, less obtuse lemmas and minute anthers.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1994). Poaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
genus Eragrostis
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Eragrostis lacunaria in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Eragrostis lacunaria in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Scroll Belt present native
Robinvale Plains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales