Poverty GrassPoverty Grass (Aristida dichotoma) is the smallest of the eastern Aristidas and bears but short awns. Slender Aristida has a slightly larger flowering-head whose horizontal awns are frequently one half inch in length.
The panicles of Purplish Aristida are long and very bristly; the outer awns of each flowering scale nearly equal the horizontal middle awn in length, and purple panicle; the plant is usually larger than either of the preceding species and bears longer leaves.
The several species of eastern Aristidas are locally known as Poverty Grasses, from their appearing most frequently on waste land and on soil that is too poor to support a richer vegetation.
Many species are common in the West and Southwest, where, among others, is found the well-named Needle-grass, whose triple awns sometimes attain a length of four inches.