PRAIRIE THREEAWN
File Size: 153 KB
 
Aristida oligantha  Michx.
Carter County, Oklahoma
Annual
Height: 1 to 2 feet tall
Family: Poaceae - Grass Family
Flowering Period:   August, September,October
Also Called: Oldfield three-awn, wiregrass, ticklegrass.
Culms: Wiry, hollow, 12 to 24 inches tall, much branched at base, glabrous or slightly scabrous.
Blades: Flat or loosely involute, 1.5 to 8 inches long, less than .1 inch wide, tapering to fine point.
Sheaths: Loose, glabrous to slightly scabrous, often pilose at collar.
Ligules: Small, hairy.
Inflorescences: Panicle, loose, raceme-like, 4 to 8 inches long; axis often flexuous (zigzag); spikelets few, spreading.
Spikelets: Narrow, on very short pedicels, one-flowered; glumes taper to awn-like tips; second glume slightly longer than first; lemma tip three-awned; awns about equal in length, 1.5 to 2.75 inches long, spreading, often spirally curved at base.
Habitat: Open, dry waste ground, often in sandy soils.
Distribution: Eastern three quarters of Kansas.
Reproduction: Reproduces by seed.
Toxicity: The awns can cause mouth, nose and eye injury in livestock.
Forage Value: Prairie threeawn has no forage value.
Comments: Shallow-rooted. A common invader of overgrazed pastures. Prairie threeawn takes on a whitish hue when mature.
 Compare with purple threeawn and arrowfeather threeawn.

Prairie threeawn
178 KB
Carter County, Oklahoma
Prairie threeawn spikelets
66 KB
Carter County, Oklahoma
Prairie threeawn
173 KB
Carter County, Oklahoma