Aristida oligantha Michx.
Prairie threeawn, Oldfield (Prairie) 3-awn, Oldfield threeawn
Poaceae (Grass Family)
Synonym(s): Aristida ramosissima var. chaseana
USDA Symbol: AROL
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Inflorescence: Raceme , Spike , Spikelet
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Culms 15-80 cm. long.
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
Bloom Notes: The florets (flowers) of grasses are usually so minute that they are not visible to the naked eye. This grass has a purplish panicle or raceme.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , AZ , CA , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV , WY
Native Distribution: Eastern U.S. west to Texas and South Dacota, also Arizona, California and Oregon. Occurs throughout Texas, but is especially common in the prairie regions of central and north Texas.
Native Habitat: Sandy and sandy limestone soil in open areas.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy soils, also tight clayey soils, prairie regions
Conditions Comments: Oldfield threeawn has some value to protect against soil erosion in loose-soiled areas, but it has almost no value as a forage grass. The seeds can cause trouble by working into the wool of sheep and into the eyes of sheep and cattle.
BenefitUse Wildlife: The plants provide nesting sites and/or material for small fur and game animals.
Use Food: The seeds are food for song birds. The plant is browsed by some hoofed animals.
Use Other: Browsed by some hoofed animals. Some value in protecting against erosion on loose-soiled, disturbed and denuded sites.
Larval Host: The Grass Family is an essential larval food for most branded skippers and most of the satyrs.
Deer Resistant: High
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-0103 Collected 2003-05-13 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Aristida oligantha in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Aristida oligantha in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Aristida oligantha
MetadataRecord Modified: 2010-08-09
Research By: NPC