Purple three-awn (Aristida purpurea)
Photo courtesy of Mountain States Wholesale Nursery

purple three-awn

This plant grows well in the following regions:

  • SMSierra and Coastal Mountains
  • CVCentral Valley
  • DTDesert
  • NCNorth and Central Coast
  • SCSouth Coast
Map of regions (click to enlarge)
map of California regions



Forms a small clump about 2 ft tall and wide. Fine-textured foliage ranging in color from green to blue. In fall, three long awns attached to each seed glow in the sunlight. Can be scattered among native shrubs and perennials or planted in massess. Fast growing. Thrives in sunny, dry locations with minimal irrigation. Does reseed prolifically and seeds tend to stick to socks, so keep away from foot traffic areas.

A widespread grass that can be found across the western 2/3 of the US and parts of northern Mexico. Avoid cutting back if possible. Remove old seed heads by gently pulling.

Sun needs:

  • Full sun

Water needs:

  • Low water
  • Very low water
Water needs information from WUCOLS unless otherwise noted