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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.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

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 significant 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

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist

Other data on Aristida purpurascens available from:

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