June - October
0.2 - 0.6
Aristida oligantha can be distinguished from A. longespica by its lemma awns which are equal in length, while those of A. longespica are unequal in length. The awns of A. longespica are never twisted while those of A. oligantha are sometimes slightly twisted at their base.
The following information for the genus Aristida: Animals that eat its seeds: Pine-woods sparrows, white-footed mouse. Animals that eat the plant: Jack rabbit, white-footed mouse, white-tailed deer (Martin et al. 1951). Is unpalatable and thus rarely grazed.
Aristida oligantha is adapted to a variety of soil types and occurs in prairies throughout the United States except for 3 or 4 of the most western states. Prairie 3-awn invades overstocked native range and low fertility pastures. It does not compete well with more vigorous grasses. It is unpalatable, and only the new growth is grazed, making it an increaser in overgrazed range.
Mostly sandy or calcareous sandy soil in open ground.