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Aristida purpurea var. longiseta (Red three-awn)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Aristida purpurea var. longiseta

Aristida purpurea Nutt. var. longiseta (Steud.) Vasey

Red Three-awn, Fendler Three-awn, Purple Threeawn

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Aristida longiseta, Aristida longiseta var. rariflora, Aristida longiseta var. robusta, Aristida purpurea var. robusta


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

The culms and leaf blades of this densely tufted, perennial bunchgrass rise 8-12 in. in height. The seedhead is narrow and erect with ascending branches. Three long, reddish bristles extend from each flower.

Taller and more robust populations occurring eastward to Minnesota and west to Washington and California were once referred to as Aristida longiseta var. robusta.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Brown
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr


USA: AZ , CA , CO , IA , ID , KS , LA , MN , MT , NC , ND , NE , NM , NV , OK , OR , SC , SD , TX , UT , WA , WY
Canada: BC , SK
Native Distribution: B.C. & e. WA to the Dakotas & IA, s. to OR, AZ, TX & Mex.
Native Habitat: Dry hills & plains

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Not Available
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Aristida purpurea var. longiseta in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Aristida purpurea var. longiseta in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Aristida purpurea var. longiseta


Record Modified: 2022-02-02
Research By: TWC Staff

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