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Tridens albescens (White tridens)
Strickland, Sam C.

Tridens albescens

Tridens albescens (Vasey) Woot. & Standl.

White Tridens, White Top

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Rhombolytrum albescens

USDA Symbol: tral2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Plants: Tufted with culms from a hard, often knotty, rhizomatous base. Culms: Mostly 30-90 cm. tall, glabrous or sparsely bearded. Blades: Firm, glaucous, elongate or rather short, 1-4 mm. broad. Spilelets: 4-10 mm. long, 4-11 flowered, mostly straw-colored but lemma tips usually purple.


From the Image Gallery

9 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
Inflorescence: Panicle
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

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


USA: KS , LA , NM , OK , TN , TX
Native Distribution: Texas, throughout except in the far east of state.
Native Habitat: In clay along roadsides, riparian areas and in swales throughout Texas.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Clay loam, clay.
Conditions Comments: Lovely perennial grass with white seed-heads. Best used in mixed wildflower plantings. Good forage for seed-eating birds.


Use Ornamental: Attractive, Wildflower meadow, Pocket prairie
Use Wildlife: Graze, Nesting material, Seeds-granivorous birds
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds
Larval Host: The Grass Family is an essential larval food for most branded skippers and most of the satyrs.
Deer Resistant: High

Find Seed or Plants

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

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Deer-resistant plants for steep hillside erosion control
June 03, 2008
Hello, I am looking for advice on native plants to control erosion on a steep hillside in the western cross timbers. This is a shady area under post oaks and cedar elms, in shallow sandy soil mixed w...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Patsy Glenn Refuge, c/o Wimberley Birding Society - Wimberley, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-205 Collected 2008-06-02 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-12-02
Research By: TWC Staff, GAP

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