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Purple Three Awn
Aristida purpurea
  
About Purple Three Awn (Aristida purpurea) 41 Nurseries Carry This Plant Purple Three Awn (Aristida purpurea) is a species of grass native to North America. This grass is fairly widespread and can be found across the western two-thirds of the United States, much of southern Canada, and parts of northern Mexico. It is most abundant on the plains. In California, it is found primarily from Mono County southwards, in desert, mountain and coastal habitats.

This perennial grass has an erect form, and the flower glumes (pairs of bracts) often assume a light brown to reddish-purple color. This species includes several recognized varieties that have overlapping geographical ranges.

Purple Three Awn is not considered to be a good graze for livestock, because the awns are sharp and the protein content of the grass is low. It does, however, make an attractive landscape grass that is a good substitute for invasive and non-native grasses.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Grasses

Size
Size
1.6 - 3.3 ft tall
2 ft wide

Form
Form
Fountain

Dormancy
Dormancy
Evergreen

Fragrance
Fragrance
None

Flower Color
Flower Color
Cream, Purple, Red, Brown

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Winter, Spring

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Very Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to -20° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast, Medium

Soil Description
Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils. Soil PH: 6.5 - 7.5

Common uses
Common uses
Groundcovers

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Can be used with a very wide variety of other plants from the mountains, deserts or coast. Examples include Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata), Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia), Brittlebush (Encelia spp.), Buckwheat (Eriogonum spp.), and various cactus and succulent species.

Maintenance
Maintenance
Avoid cutting back the plant if possible. Remove old seed heads by gently pulling.

Propagation
Propagation?
By seed. This plant readily seeds itself and, like other grasses, it can be mildly invasive in the garden. New young plants can be easily removed by pulling.

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Sandy or rocky soils, slopes, plains

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 2.6" - 34.1", Summer Precipitation: 0.15" - 3.28", Coldest Month: 32.9" - 63.2", Hottest Month: 61.8" - 88.8", Humidity: 1.19" - 42.80", Elevation: 92" - 7251"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Purple Three-awn, Purple Threeawn


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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