Eragrostis capillaris
Love grass
Image of Eragrostis capillaris

Photo by Emmet J. Judziewicz 

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Key Characteristics

Small tufted annual of dry savanna and prairies; leaves narrow (4 mm) and sheaths pilose; inflorescence large and wide-branching, often 2/3 of the total height of the plant; spikelets small on elongate capillary pedicels.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: SH
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Eragrostis capillaris

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Collected in Michigan in the Detroit area, but no habitat data was noted. Elsewhere, this species is known from open woods and fields, in dry soil.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

No associates are known for Michigan. In the Chicago region, this species was associated with box elder, three-seeded mercury, nodding thistle, wood sorrel, and tree-of-heaven along a railroad right-of-way, although it is also known from woodlands in that area.


The primary need at the present is status survey to determine if this species remains extant. It may occur within remnant lakeplain prairies and oak openings in southeast Michigan, and may possible persist in disturbed areas.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Aug 18, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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