Culms 10-40 cm. Leaves mostly cauline; blades 4-10 cm,
involute. Panicles 3-14(15) cm; primary branches mostly appressed,
stiff, straight, without axillary pulvini, with few spikelets. Lower glumes
5-8 mm; upper glumes 10-15 mm; lemmas 8-14 mm long, apices 0.2-0.3
wide; awns subequal, 18-40 mm long, occasionally slightly longer, 0.2-0.3
mm wide at the base. 2n = 22, 44.
Aristida purpurea var. fendleriana grows on open slopes, hills,
and sandy flats, at low to medium elevations, from the western United States
into northern Mexico. It is often confused with var. longiseta,
having short basal leaves and short panicles, but plants of var. fendleriana
have narrower lemma apices and thinner, shorter awns than those of var. longiseta.
FNA 2003, Allred 1984
Common Name: Fendler's threeawn Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Tufted perennial with stems 10-40 cm tall. Vegetative: Blades involute, mostly less than 10 cm long, usually clustered basally, but occasionally cauline. Inflorescence: Panicle 3-14 cm long, rarely longer, few flowered; glumes unequal, lower 5-8 mm long, upper 10-15 mm long, lemma glabrous or tuberculate-scabrous, 8-14 mm long, awns mostly 1.5-4 cm long, occasionally some slightly longer, less than 0.5 mm wide at the base. Ecology: Found on open slopes, flats, and dry plains from 5,000-7,000 ft (1524-2134 m); flowers May-September. Notes: This variety can be confused with var. longiseta with the short basal leaves and short panicles, but this species has narrower lemma apices and thinner, shorter awns. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Aristida is from the Latin arista for awn, while purpurea is Latin for purple, fendleriana is named for Augustus Fendler (1813-1883) a German plant collector. Synonyms: Aristida fendleriana Editor: SBuckley, 2010