Tridens flavus

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Common name: redtop[1], tall redtop[1], purpletop tridens[1], greasy grass[1], Chapman's tridens[2]

Tridens flavus
Tridens flavus SEF.jpg
Photo by John Gwaltney hosted at Southeastern
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida - Moncots
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Tridens
Species: T. flavus
Binomial name
Tridens flavus
(L.) Hitchc.
Natural range of Tridens flavus from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: Tridens chapmanii (Small) Chase.[3]


T. flavus is a perennial graminoid of the Poaceae family native to North America and introduced to Canada.[2]


T. flavus is found in the eastern half of the United States as well as California, and in the Ontario region of Canada. [2]



T. flavus proliferates in roadsides, disturbed areas, and glades.[1]

Specimens have been collected from drying loamy sands, burned pineland, bank of rivers, cypress swamp bank, open field, hammock, wooded floodplain, and pine-oak flatwood.[4]


T. flavus has been observed to flower in October.[5]

Fire ecology

T. flavus is not fire resistant, but has high fire tolerance[2] as shown by populations that have been known to persist through repeated annual burning.[6][7]

Herbivory and toxicology

T. flavus has high palatability for grazing and browsing animals[2] , however the risk for cyanogenesis is present as cyanide has been detected in this species.[8] Cattle forage Tridens flavus in the summer and early fall, but the species can decrease under heavy grazing.[9]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 USDA Plant Database
  3. Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draf of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  4. URL: Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, R.K. Godfrey, Julia Neel, Roy Komarek, Robert Norris, A.F. Clewell, R. Kral, J. P. Gillespie, D.L. Martin, S. T. Cooper, R.D. Houk, Richard Mitchell, Cecil Slaughter, Marc Minno, Ann F. Johnson, Wilson Baker, Billie Bailey, Alan Franck, Peter Simones, M. Darst, A. Gholson, Kathleen Craddock Burks, Gary Knight. States and counties: Florida (Wakulla, Leon, Hamilton, Marion, Liberty, Jackson, Dixie, Okaloosa, Nassau, St. Johns, Volusia, Calhoun, Lafayette, Walton) Georgia (Grady, THomas)
  5. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 29 MAY 2018
  6. Glitzenstein, J. S., D. R. Streng, R. E. Masters, K. M. Robertson and S. M. Hermann 2012. Fire-frequency effects on vegetation in north Florida pinelands: Another look at the long-term Stoddard Fire Research Plots at Tall Timbers Research Station. Forest Ecology and Management 264: 197-209.
  7. Platt, W.J., R. Carter, G. Nelson, W. Baker, S. Hermann, J. Kane, L. Anderson, M. Smith, K. Robertson. 2021. Unpublished species list of Wade Tract old-growth longleaf pine savanna, Thomasville, Georgia.
  8. Burrows, G.E., Tyrl, R.J. 2001. Toxic Plants of North America. Iowa State Press.
  9. Byrd, Nathan A. (1980). "Forestland Grazing: A Guide For Service Foresters In The South." U.S. Department of Agriculture.