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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Aristida havardii - Havard's threeawn

Synonyms: Aristida barbata

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Patrick Alexander @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Plant image

Patrick Alexander @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Rocky ground, dry hills and plains in high desert grassland to pinyon-juniper zones.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 4000 - 6000 feet

Similar Species: Aristida divaricata

General Description

Desc: Tufted perennial growing in dense round clumps. Seedhead stems are erect and unbranched. Leaves are mostly basal and smooth with sheaths longer than the internodes. Seedheads are deciduous and fall from the clump when dry.
Identification notes: Stems erect, arising from round clumps. Spikelets usually divergent, stems with a joint-like thickening at the base, lateral awns slightly shorter than central. Lemma apices with 0-2 twists when mature, which distinguishes it from A. divaricata.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: 12 to 24 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - open and spreading  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Aug - Oct

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: One-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: 1/4 inch to 1 inch   Three Awns: Y  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead is branched, open and spreading with one fertile floret per stem. Each floret bears 3 short awns, with the lateral awns slightly shorter and thinner than the central awn. Each floret breaks away from the dried seedhead when it falls.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Involute  
Blade Notes: Leaf blades very narrow and mostly flat with blade margins folded or rolled inward. Leaf sheath is mostly open, loosely clasping the stem. Leaf blade and sheath are smooth. Blade collar and ligule are covered in dense fine hairs.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: Y  Ligules: Hairy
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Ligule is tiny and present only as a fringe of hairs.

Forage Value: Grass is unpalatable except when very young. Nutritive forage value is poor.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Content Questions/Comments: Email Mary Barnes  
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