Ramadero Spike Lovegrass is a native, warm season perennial bunchgrass that grows 3-5’ tall. Spike lovegrass is a common native grass on clay, clay loam, and saline alkaline soils in the Rio Grande Plains and Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes. It is fair livestock forage, and provides excellent wildlife cover on areas that often support very few other grasses of spike lovegrass’ stature or productivity. The seeds are eaten by quail, doves, and wild turkeys. Spike lovegrass is a premier option for range and wildlife habitat restoration efforts on clay, saline and alkaline range sites in South Texas, especially pipeline rights-of-ways in the Eagle Ford Shale region.
Ramadero Spike Lovegrass originates from a single population in the Rio Grande Plains that was collected and developed for release by the Texas Native Seeds Program and the USDA NRCS Kingsville Plant Materials Center. Spike lovegrass’ natural adaptation to moist and saline soils makes it a useful species for oil/gas reclamation and right-of-way planting, as well as wildlife habitat improvement efforts. It is highly competitive with many non-native grasses, including Old World bluestems. Spike lovegrass is one of the most drought hardy native grasses available. However, the species is not cold hardy north of the Rio Grande Plain or Texas Gulf Coast. It is also a naturally dominant species on several hard-to-restore grassland types in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Planting: Plant in late fall or spring at a rate of 1 lb. pure live seed (PLS)per acre at 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep
Soil: Well adapted to moist and saline soils
Height: 3-4 feet
Type: Warm Season Perennial
Region: Rio Grand Plains, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Coastal Sand Plains
For more information: Ramadero Spike Lovegrass Brochure from USDA NRCS