Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Grass Family (Poaceae). Wright’s threeawn is a native, warm season, weak, short lived and perennial bunch grass. The height is between 10 and 20 inches. The leaf blade is rolled; threadlike; tufted, and twisting. The leaf sheath is mostly basal, rounded and open. The ligule is a row of short hair. The seedhead is a narrow panicle 6 to 8 inches long, purplish at first, turning straw yellow after maturity; the seeds are covered with stiff barbs.

Distribution: For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

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Alternative names

Wright three-awn, wright threeawn, Aristida wrightii

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Distribution

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aristida purpurea var. wrightii (Nash) Allred:
Mexico (Mesoamerica)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
  • Soreng, R. J., G. Davidse, P. M. Peterson, F. O. Zuloaga, E. J. Judziewicz, T. S. Filgueiras & O. Morrone. 2003 and onwards. On-line taxonomic novelties and updates, distributional additions and corrections, and editorial changes since the four published volumes of the Catalogue of New World Grasses (Poaceae) published in Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. vols. 39, 41, 46, and 48. http://www.tropicos.org/Project/CNWG:. In R. J. Soreng, G. Davidse, P. M. Peterson, F. O. Zuloaga, T. S. Filgueiras, E. J. Judziewicz & O. Morrone Internet Cat. New World Grasses. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis.   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1024044 External link.
  • Herrera Arrieta, Y. & A. Cortés Ortiz. 2010. Listado florístico y aspectos ecológicos de la familia Poaceae para Chihuahua, Durango y Zacatecas, México. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 4(2): 711–738.   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/100002652 External link.
  • Espejo Serna, A., A. R. López-Ferrari & J. Valdés-Reyna. 2000. Poaceae. Monocot. Mexic. Sinopsis Floríst. 10: 7–236 [and index].   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1015183 External link.
  • Hickman, J. C. 1993. Jepson Man.: Higher Pl. Calif. i–xvii, 1–1400. University of California Press, Berkeley.   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/40453 External link.
  • Barkworth, M. E., K. M. Capels, S. Long & M. B. Piep. 2003. Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Poaceae, part 2. 25: i–xxv, 1–783. In Fl. N. Amer. Oxford University Press, New York.   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1021466 External link.
  • Davidse, H., Longhi-Wagner G. & S. Laegaard. 2003. Aristida. In Catalogue of New World Grasses (Poaceae): III. Subfamilies Panicoideae, Aristidoideae, Arundinoideae, and Danthonioideae. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 46: 69–104.   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1003760 External link.
  • Allred, K. W. 1992. The genus Aristida (Gramineae) in California. Great Basin Naturalist 52(1): 41–52.   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/41251 External link.
  • Valdés R., J. & K. W. Allred. 2003. El género Aristida (Gramineae) en el nordeste de México. Acta Bot. Mex. 63: 1–45.   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1021803 External link.
  • Allred, K. W. 1984. Morphologic variation and classification of the North American Aristida purpurea complex (Gramineae). Brittonia 36(4): 382–395.   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1004910 External link.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aristida wrightii Nash:
Mexico (Mesoamerica)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110 USA

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Type Information

Isotype for Aristida wrightii Nash in Small
Catalog Number: US 991091
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. Reverchon
Year Collected: 1881
Locality: Dallas., Dallas, Texas, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Nash, G. V. 1903. Fl. Southeast. U.S. 116.
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Type fragment for Aristida wrightii Nash in Small
Catalog Number: US 2947172
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. Reverchon
Year Collected: 1881
Locality: Dallas., Dallas, Texas, United States, North America
  • Type fragment: Nash, G. V. 1903. Fl. Southeast. U.S. 116.
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Ecology

Dispersal

Establishment

Wright’s threeawn is one of the first warm season grasses to start growing in the spring. The seedheads appear within 30 days after growth starts. It becomes dormant in the summer and greens up again in the early fall. It reproduces mostly from seed and is a prolific seed producer. It grows best on calcareous to neutral sandy loam soils, but also grows on clay loams.

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Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Conservation

Conservation Status

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: TNR - Not Yet Ranked

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status, such as, state noxious status and wetland indicator values.

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Management

Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

Please contact your local NRCS Field Office.

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This grass is never a key management species and most ranchers want to get rid of it. Close grazing in the spring will reduce it. Summer grazing deferments allow more vigorous warm-season grasses associated with it to dominate. Seed collects in the wool and mohair of sheep and goats that graze this grass during summer.

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Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

Wright’s threeawn is grazed readily early in the spring. After seedheads form, it becomes less palatable. Cattle and horses graze it more readily than sheep and goats. If it greens up at the base late in the fall after other warm season grasses have matured, cattle and horses graze it again.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Risks

Warning

Warning: This species may be mechanically injurious to livestock.
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