Eragrostis paupera

leaf Main Plant Information





Common Names

  • Dwarf bunchgrass
  • Dwarf eragrostis
  • Dwarf lovegrass
  • Lovegrass
  • Oʻahu lovegrass


  • Eragrostis falcata [misapplied, sensu Hawaiian botanist]
  • Eragrotis whitneyi

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Non-Woody, Clumping

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Grass-like, Short, Less than 1

Mature Size, Width

Less than a foot with most plants.

Life Span

Short lived (Less than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Container

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Not Showy

Flower Colors

  • Cream
  • White

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Fine

Leaf Colors

  • Light Green
  • Medium Green

leaf Pests and Diseases

leaf Growth Requirements


Use small amounts of a balanced slow release fertilize with minor elements every six months. Foliar feed monthly with kelp or fish emulsion, or a commercial fertilizer with a weak dilution of one half to one third of recommended strength. Do not over fertilize these plants. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

It may seem strange, but this species appears to benefit from an occasional spray of sea water. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Water Requirements

  • Dry

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Full sun


  • Drought
  • Wind
  • Salt Spray
  • Heat


  • Sand
  • Cinder
  • Coral

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Oʻahu
  • Northwest Islands

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • Less than 150, 0 to 50 (Dry)


  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

It is currently found in the Hawaiian Island Archipelago in the northwest potion of the chain at Kure Atoll, Midway Atoll, Pearl & Hermes Atoll, and French Frigate Shoals. The only main island it was found on was Oʻahu at Barber's Point, but now unfortunately extinct there now.

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

The lovegrasses (Eragrostis spp.) comprise some 300 species in the Grass family (Poaceae). The featured species is the only indigenous lovegrass of nine species, the other eight are endemic. Of these, the Pacific lovegrass (Eragrostis deflexa) is rare, Fosberg's lovegrass (E. fosbergii) is endangered, and Maui lovegrass (E. mauiensis) is considered extinct.

There are also thirteen introduced and naturalized species.


The Latin name Eragrostis comes from the Greek eros, meaning loving (in an erotic sense), and Agrostis, a genus of fodder grasses.

The specific epithet paupera is from the Latin pauperare, dwarfed, in reference to this species small size.

Background Information

The Dwarf eragrostis is the smallest of the native lovegrasses. It is rare in some locations such as Kure Atoll. [1]

Additional References

[1] "Botanical Inventory fo Kure," by Forest Starr, Kim Martz & Lloyd Loope for the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources, page 3.

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