A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants
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.