This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, er, spring, and agrostis, a grass). Gramineae. Love-Grass. Annual or perennial grasses with more or less diffuse panicles of small several-flowered compressed spikelets. Some species grown in the open for ornament.
From 6 in. to several feet tall: culms simple or often branched; lemmas keeled, 3-nerved, the palea ciliate on the keels. - Species about 100 in warm and temperate regions of both hemispheres.
Some annual species are common weeds, such as E. megastachya, Link (E. major, Host), Stink- or Snake-Grass, with rather large, ill-smelling spikelets in a compact panicle. Dept. Agric, Div. Agrost. 17:215. E. pectinacea, Nees, a native of U. S., is a handsome perennial, with large open panicles of purple spikelets. Well adapted to cult, in sandy soils. Ibid 17:261. E. obtusa, Munro (Briza geniculata, Thurb.), an annual with showy spikelets, is cult, in Eu., but little known in U.S. V:3:247.
Link (Poa abyssinica, Jacq.). Teff. A branching and spreading leafy annual, 1-3 ft.: panicle large and open, 1 ft. long, the branches capillary; spikelets numerous, loosely 5-9-flowered, 3-4 lines long; lemmas acuminate, scaberulous on the tip and nerves. Africa - This and the following are cult, for ornament, the spreading panicles being used for bouquets. The abundant seed used for making bread in N. E. Africa
Becker (E. collina, Trin.). Fig. 1405. A spreading leafy annual, 1-2 ft., differing from the preceding in the less diffuse panicles, the more compact spikelets and the less acuminate lemmas. W. Asia.
Fig. 1405. Eragrostis suaveolens. (X 1/4)
Doell (E. elegans, Nees). An erect annual, 1-2 ft.: panicle feathery, 1 ft. long, rather narrow, the branches ascending, closely flowered with numerous small spikelets. Brazil.
Wight & Arn. (Poa amabilis, Linn.). Erect or spreading annual, 1-2 ft.: panicles small, 4-6 in., rather compact; spikelets purple, many-flowered, 3 lines long, 1 line wide. India.
Baker. An erect, robust annual, 2-3 ft.: blades lanceolate, cordate at base: panicle erect, lax, 6-9 in. long and broad, the pedicels capillary; spikelets oblong, 1/3-1/2in. long. Madagascar.
, A. S. Hitchcock.