UTIA Family, please refer utk.edu/coronavirus for the latest updates and student information. For UTIA-specific resources, please visit utia.tennessee.edu/coronavirus .

Tridens flavus

Share on

Common Name: Purpletop, Purpletop Tridens

Full to part sun; medium to moderately dry moisture level; well adapted to shallow droughty, infertile soils including sandy and rocky as well as clay soils; very strongly acid to slightly acid pH.  3-5 feet height; blooms late summer into fall; purple flowers; spreads by short, thick rhizomes and rapidly by self-seeding.

Germination Code:  C(60)

Native Region:  Statewide

Attractive, easy-to-grow, tall grass with drooping branches bearing widely spaced reddish-purple spikes, putting a purple haze on fields and open woods.  Seedlings are slow to develop and may be overwhelmed by other grasses on better soils. Readily consumed by grazing livestock.  Attracts butterflies.

Purpletop, Purpletop Tridens - Tridens flavus 2
Photo Courtesy of Southeastern Flora http://www.southeasternflora.com/