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Tridens flavus Tridens flavus

Common Name(s):

  • Grease Grass
  • Purpletop Tridens
Description

A native ornamental warm-season bunch grass in the Poaceae family.  It has attractive redish-purple seed heads that appear in the late summer and persist into fall and are espeically impactful when planted en masse.  It is a salt tolerant grass and is often seen growing along roadside ditches. Its seed heads are oily, hence the common name grease grass, and are a food source for birds and mammals.

Purple Top is a perennial warm-season grass that grows 3-5 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It has a rich hue to its foliage as it develops each spring. Shortly after the foliage matures, the flower spikes develop as purple panicles that bloom from August to November.

Regions: Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain

Seasons of Interest:

     Bloom: Summer-Fall, August-October; Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall/Winter

Wildilfe Value: Deer resistance is high. Seed heads are a food source for birds and mammals.  This species is the larval host of a number of butterflies and moths, including Cercyonis pegala (Common Wood Nymph), Polites origenes (Crossline Skipper), Pompeius verna (Little Glassywing), and Poanes viator (Broad-winged Skipper). Provides excellent cover year round.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:

Cultivars:
Tags:
#native#purple#butterflies#birds#pollinators#perennial#wildlife plant#moths#salt tolerant#larval host#deer resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#native#purple#butterflies#birds#pollinators#perennial#wildlife plant#moths#salt tolerant#larval host#deer resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Tridens
    Species:
    flavus
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Ornamental Grass
    Perennial
  • Flower:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Salt