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Tridens flavus

Purpletop tridens

Tridens flavus is a grass native across the southeast. It is typically found in open, disturbed areas (like roadsides). It grows best in full sun to part shade, on dry to moist soils. This is a tall grass (it can grow up to five feet tall), and it produces purple seed heads in the fall that persist into winter- hence the common name Purpletop. Birds and small mammals enjoy eating the seeds. When planted in a group, the “purple top” effect is prominent. This is an important host plant for several native butterfly species. Tridens flavus is excellent for restoration projects, or for use as a specimen grass in a yard or rain garden.

Species name - Container sizeCommon nameStockPriceQuantity PricingAdd to request

Plant type

  • Grass / Grasslike

Mature Height

  • Up to 6'

Wetland Indicator Status

  • (FACU) Facultative upland


  • Bird Supportive
  • Fall Color
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Fall Blooming
  • Butterfly and Pollinator Supportive

Planting Zone

  • Riparian Zone
  • Upland
  • Slope
  • Riparian Buffer
  • Buffer

Classification by Use

  • Erosion Control
  • Rain Garden
  • SCM (Stormwater Control Measure)
  • Stream Restoration