eragrostis tef

Eragrostis

Lovegrass is the genus Eragrostis of the Poaceae (grass family). Being the namesake genus of the tribe Eragrostideae, it would remain therein if this group remains valid after revision of the Chloridoideae.

They are dispersed by passing animals; its seeds' hooks latch on to fur or hair, or to clothes. Lepidoptera whose caterpillars feed on Eragrostis include the Zabulon Skipper, Poanes zabulon.

Lovegrasses are little utilized by humans. They can be used as livestock fodder. The seeds appear to be of extremely high nutritional value at least in some species, but they are also extremely tiny and collecting them for food is cumbersome and not usually done. A notable exception is teff, used to make most of the traditional breads of the Horn of Africa: Ethiopian injera and Somalian laxoox, and grown as a crop of commercial importance. E. clelandii and E. tremula are recorded as famine foods in Australia and Chad, respectively. Other species, like E. tenella, are used as ornamental plants.

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