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Aristida stricta (Pineland threeawn)
Cressler, Alan

Aristida stricta

Aristida stricta Michx.

Pineland Threeawn, Wiregrass

Poaceae (Grass Family)


USDA Symbol: arst5

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This wiry, clumping grass grows from 2 - 4 feet tall and is the principal grass found in Southeastern Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) savannahs from Mississippi eastward. It is fire-dependent, setting seed only after being burned. In the garden, it maintains a tidy shape.


From the Image Gallery

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Inflorescence: Spike
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.
Leaf: Dark green
Fruit: Yellow. Fruits produced only after autumn fires.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , FL , GA , MS , NC , SC
Native Distribution: North Carolina to Mississippi.
Native Habitat: Sandy areas, pine savanna, moist prairies, and coastal plains. The predominant grass in Longleaf Pine Savanna.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Drought Tolerance: Low , Medium
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Highly acidic, poor, sandy, pineland soils.
Conditions Comments: Typically grows in fast-draining sands of pinelands, but can tolerate seasonal flooding.


Use Ornamental: A tidy, well-behaved clumping grass for Southeastern gardens.
Use Wildlife: Bachman's Sparrows eat the seeds. Deer browse the leaves.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: No


Propagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
Seed Collection: Seeds produced only after autumn fires, so can only be collected after this happens.
Maintenance: Requires periodic fall burns to produce seed.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: FAC FAC
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Aristida stricta in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Aristida stricta in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Aristida stricta


Record Modified: 2022-11-23
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