Arrowfeather threeawn
Aristida purpurascens
Poaceae


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.
Height:
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.
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).


George D. Gann
Shirley Denton