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Plant Profile  
FYUSE 3D Image

Common Name: Purpletop

Other Names: Greasegrass

Species Name: Tridens flavus

Plant Type: Grasses & Grass-like

Family Name: Poaceae, Grass Family

Tribe: Eragrostideae, Lovegrass Family





Plant Facts  
Origin Native
Duration Perennial
Season Warm
Distribution in the U.S. Eastern half of the country but not the extreme north
Distribution in Oklahoma Eastern two-thirds of the state



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics


    • Stems flatten and widen at base
    • Coarse, dark green foliage


    • Seed heads are dark purple
    • Seed heads are oily to the touch; “Greasegrass”
    • Single seed head per branch
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Plant Height: 60-150 centimeters
    • Ligule Type: Ciliate to ciliate membranous
    • Sheath: Glabrous
    • Leaves: Basal and cauline
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Inflorescence Type: Panicles
    • Florets Per Spikelet: 3-6
    • Glumes: Unequal



Soil Type Various
Habitat Rocky, uplands to bottomlands
Successional Stage Mid


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