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Arrowfeather threeawn
Aristida purpurascens

Copyright by: George D. Gann

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also butterfly gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes: An occasional understory grass in a wide variety of open upland and wetland ecosytems.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts and occasionally by native plant nurseries.

Description: Medium herbaceous clumping grass.

Dimensions: Typically 1-2 feet in height; to 3 feet when in flower. Typically taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Eastern United States west to Texas and south to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies, Mexico and Central America.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Pinelands, prairies and coastal uplands.

Soils: Moist to seasonally wet, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, without humus.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Light brown inflorescence.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous.

Flowering Season: Summer-fall.

Fruit: Noticable caryopsis with three long awns.

Wildlife and Ecology: Larval host for Meske's skipper (Hesperia meskei).

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Comments: Spreads readily from seed in the garden and can become weedy. Our treatment here includes Hillsboro threeawn (A. purpurascens var. tenuispica).

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Aristida purpurascens available from:

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