Content Detail

Sand love grass is a midwestern native that prefers sandy or well-drained sites. It is a warm season, clumping grass. It will self- seed.

  • Family (English) Grass
  • Family (botanic) Poaceae
  • Tree or plant type Grass, Perennial
  • Native locale Illinois, North America
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Dry soil, Sandy soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early winter, midwinter, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Purple, Red
  • Shape or form Arching, Mounded

Size and form: 

Sand love grass forms a dense mound of leaves about 2 feet tall. When the flower stalks arise, the plant will be around 4 feet tall.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Native to a large part of the central United States, it is commonly found in sandy habitats.

Leaf description: 

Leaves are 1 to 2 feet long and 1/4 inch wide. Green in summer, the plant turns bronze in fall before turning brown.

Flower description: 

The tiny flowers are reddish-purple and held on branched clusters just barely above the foliage. Flowering time is summer. Flowers are wind-pollinated.

Fruit description: 

The small fruit (caryopsis or grains) form along the branched clusters that hold the flowers.

Plant care:

Sand love grass needs drier, well-drained soils. It is fairly tolerant of heat and drought. This is a warm season grass, so its most active growth occurs in summer. It will remain standing in winter and can act as winter interest. Since this grass remains attractive through winter, it should not be cut back until early spring, before new growth begins. At that time, it can be cut down to the ground.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

No serious problems.


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