Aristida purpurea 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Poales Poaceae

Scientific Name: Aristida purpurea Nutt.
Common Name(s):
English Democrat Grass, Purple Threeawn, Wiregrass
Taxonomic Notes: Aristida purpurea has long been considered as a complex of about eight species but has been reduced to one species with seven varieties. The taxa that are recognized are Aristida purpurea var. purpurea, var. nealleyi (comb. nov.), var. curvifolia (comb. nov.), var. parishii (comb. nov.), var. wrightii (comb. nov.), var. fendleriana, and var. longiseta. These varieties have overlapping geographical ranges (Allred 1984).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-10-19
Assessor(s): Romand-Monnier, F.
Reviewer(s): Scott, J.A.
Aristida purpurea is rated as Least Concern due to its large range, the fact that it is widespread and dominant, ruderal, the low habitat specificity, the absence of known threats and the occurrence within numerous conservation units.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species can be found across the western two thirds of the United States, southern Canada and parts of northern Mexico.
Countries occurrence:
Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan); Mexico; United States (Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The taxon often dominates disturbed sites and sometimes stable communities on undisturbed sites. The taxon is abundant and may cover extensive areas in parts of its range. This grass can be weedy and invasive (Howard 1997). This species is known from ca 5,600 botanical records. The size and dynamics of the population are unknown.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is a medium sized perennial grass that grows in a wide range of habitats from sea level to 2,500 m asl. This grass grows in the following ecosystems: grasslands, shrublands and temperate forests, over a minimum of 40 ecoregions. Purple Three-awn is most common on rocky, sandy coarse-grained, xeric but may also occur on soils of other textures. It tends to increase with heavy grazing and may persist after livestock grazing has stopped. The taxon is highly competitive during droughts lasting only a few years. It tends to decrease during periods of extended drought (Howard 1997).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not considered to be a good graze for livestock because the awns are sharp and the protein content of the grass is low (Howard 1997).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known threats to this grass which is common on disturbed sites such as roadsides and railway rights-of-way being one of the first grasses to establish on abandoned fields and other disturbed sites (Howard 1977).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species has been collected within numerous conservation areas throughout its range. Its conservation status has been rated as G5 (NatureServe 2009) indicating a 'Secure' species that is common, widespread and abundant.

Citation: Romand-Monnier, F. 2013. Aristida purpurea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T44392137A44461465. . Downloaded on 19 July 2018.
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