top of page
This is a compact perennial grass, growing erect to under a 3 feet in height. The flower plumes often assume a light brown to reddish-purple color attracting attention during the warm months. The fine-textured foliage ranges in color from green to blue. In the fall, the three long awns attached to each seed glow in the sunlight. It has a wide distribution, 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. It thrives in sunny, dry locations, preferring minimal irrigation. It reseeds prolifically if water is available. Works in both sandy and clay soils and tolerates poor and infertile soil.
Purple Three Awn does well in containers, along borders and in mass plantings to provide color and texture contrast to trees and shrubs. It is good for erosion control on banks and provides a root matrix for many wildflower species.  Makes an attractive landscape grass that is a good substitute for invasive, non-native grasses.
Seeds are food for some songbirds. The plants provide nesting materials or habitat.

Purple Three-Awn (Aristida purpurea)

SKU: PurpleThreeAwn