PURPLE THREEAWN
File Size: 186 KB
 
Aristida purpurea  Nutt.
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 6 to 30 inches tall
Family: Poaceae - Grass Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July, August
Culms: Erect, tufted, 6 to 30 inches tall, glabrous, hollow.
Blades: Mostly basal, rolled inward or flat, 1 to 12 inches long, less than 1/10 inch wide, straight to curved, rough above; tips sharp-pointed.
Sheaths: Glabrous or slightly rough, collar often with tufts of long hairs on both sides.
Ligules: Tiny fringed membranes.
Inflorescences: Panicles, narrow, 1.5 to 12 inches long, loose, open or contracted, usually purplish or reddish, often nodding, branches stiff to zigzag.
Spikelets: Stalked, 1-flowered; first glume about half as long as second glume; lemmas tipped with 3 nearly equal awns 1 to 3 inches long.
Habitat: Hills, plains, disturbed sites, waste places and overgrazed areas, often in dry, sandy soils.
Distribution: Principally in the west two-thirds of Kansas.
Toxicity: The awns can cause eye, nose and mouth injuries in livestock.
Forage Value: Purple threeawn provides poor forage value.
Comments: Aristida purpurea is a highly variable species. There are several varieties in Kansas.
 Compare also with prairie threeawn and arrowfeather threeawn.

Purple threeawn
161 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Purple threeawn awns
132 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Purple threeawn spikelets
70 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Purple threeawn glumes
60 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Purple threeawn collar
63 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas