Eragrostis spectabilis

Purple Love Grass

$3.00 - $450.00

1/8 oz.
1/4 oz.
1/2 oz.
1 oz.
1 lb.

3 Pack
Tray of 38
Out of Stock
Tray of 50

Purple Love Grass is a perennial, warm season grass that grows actively during the summer when soil temperatures are warm. It reaches heights of 1-2 feet even in the driest, poorest of soils. It thrives in full sun and sandy sites - even roadsides that receive winter road salt. Purple Love Grass can also grow under Black Walnut trees where other plants fail.

The seed heads (or florets) bloom mid-summer in shades of light to bright purple, giving an overall purple haze to the landscape. This tough ornamental grass is an absolutely stunning addition to any rock garden or drier landscape.

Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Fall Age/Size
Potted 3-Packs May/June August/September 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep pots
Potted Trays of 38* May/June N/A 2" wide x 5" deep plugs
Potted Trays of 50 May N/A 2" wide x 5" deep plugs
*This species is a choice in the Mix & Match - Create Your Own Tray!

Eragrostis spectabilis - Purple Love Grass

Map Key

Present in state
Present but introduced in county
Present and native in county; not rare
Not present in state
Present and native in county; rare
Species extirpated (historic)
State or county listed as noxious
Present in state; exotic

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

9 Questions asked on Eragrostis spectabilis

We planted Purple Lovegrass in our garden 2 years ago. Now we see it in our neighbor's yard. Is it very aggressive or invasive? Thanks.
It does spread both by rhizomes and seed, but not aggressively so. Before the purple inflorescence in July or August, the grass clump could be confused for common lawn weeds like quack or crabgrass. If it is indeed Purple Love Grass, a mower should stop it from spreading more.
What is the seeding rate for a solid stand of this prairie grass?
Thanks for writing, Rore. There is no standard seeding rate for this species because it typically is planted as a component of a diverse seed mix. To get a heavy, monocultural stand, you probably should shoot for a seeding rate of around 80-100 seeds per square foot. There are about 280.000 seeds in one ounce of Purple Love Grass, so that amount could cover about 2,800 to 3,500 sq. ft. if applied at that rate.
Is it too late to plant these seeds this year?
Hi James. No, I don't think it's too late to plant. They are a germ code A meaning they will germinate without overwintering. However, given it's late May, keep an eye on new seedlings so they don't get scorches. We use old window screens or burlap to shade new garden beds from summer sun.
Will this plant flower during its first year of growth?
Hi Jennifer, Because this is a perennial plant, it is not guaranteed to flower during the first year of growth. Many perennial plants will take 2-5 years to bloom for the first time.
Does this plant still look purple in the winter? I am picturing it surrounded by snow...
Hi Michele, The seeds, which are what give this plant the purple color, would likely drop off by winter. Additionally, this plant is quite low-growing and would likely be buried in the snow. Pro-tip: try searching "winter interest" on our website!
Does it die down to the soil level or stay green like lawn grass over winter?
Hi Donna, This plant will go dormant in the late fall, and come back up from the roots when the weather gets warm.
I planted 5 love grass last fall in a dry, very sunny location that we rarely water. Clay soil, northern Illinois. In early August they are thriving. I’d like to plant more nearby in similar conditions but this area floods perhaps every 2 years, water can stand up to 5 days and soil stay moist, muddy for days after that. Question: would the love grass tolerate such very occasional flooding?
Hi Jacqueline, unfortunately, even 5 days of standing water every 2 years sounds like it would be detrimental to those plants. It is probably best to choose a species that can tolerate a bit more moisture. Maybe consider Prairie Dropseed instead.
Do you think this would work for a green roof?
Hello Jessie, Purple Love Grass is a pretty decent plant to use on a green roof. Starting on page 16 of the below link is a rating of green roof plants created by the Chicago Botanic Garden. Purple Lovegrass gets a 3 of 5 star rating from them.
Can this plant be transplanted in year 3? I’d like to move it to a different area in my garden.
Hi Laura. Once Purple Love Grass is mature and established enough to bloom and set seed (generally by year 3), it should tolerate being transplanted. Transplanting once the grass is dormant is preferred, but if that timing is not ideal, be sure to keep them well watered after they are situated in their new location.


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

Dormant Bare Root Plants

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

Potted Plants

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

US Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Germination Code
Life Cycle
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial
Soil Moisture
2 feet
Bloom Time
July, August
Bloom Color
Green, Purple
Deer Resistant
Highly recommended for home landscaping
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Code