Page author: Don Knoke
Vahlodea atropurpurea
arctic-hair grass

Distribution: Alaska south to the high mountains of California, east to Newfoundland and New Hamshire.

Habitat: Mountain meadows, streambanks, and lake margins to alpine ridges.

Flowers: July - August

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Strongly tufted perennial 1.5-6 dm. tall, the culms hollow.


Sheaths open; ligules obtuse to truncate, pubescent, 1.5-3.5 mm. long; leaves flat, deep green, 4-6 mm. wide, the tips prow-like.


Inflorescence an open panicle 5-10 cm. long; spikelets usually 2-flowered, purplish-tinged; articulation above the glumes; glumes subequal, elliptic in outline, about 5 mm. long, acute, the first 1-nerved, the second 3-nerved, exceeding the upper floret; lemmas obscurely 3-nerved, erose, about 2.5 mm. long, the hairs on the callus about half as long; lemma awned from just above mid-length, the awn stout and twisted, about 2.5 mm. long.



Accepted Name:
Vahlodea atropurpurea (Wahlenb.) Fr. ex Hartm.
Publication: Handb. Skand. Fl. (ed. 4) 30. 1843.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Aira atropurpurea Wahlenb.
Deschampsia atropurpurea (Wahlenb.) Scheele [HC]
Deschampsia atropurpurea (Wahlenb.) Scheele var. latifolia (Hook.) Scribn. ex Macoun [HC]
Deschampsia atropurpurea (Wahlenb.) Scheele var. paramushirensis Kudô
Deschampsia atropurpurea (Wahlenb.) Scheele var. payettii Lepage
Deschampsia pacifica Tatew. & Ohwi
Vahlodea atropurpurea (Wahlenb.) Fr. ex Hartm. ssp. latifolia (Hook.) A.E. Porsild
Vahlodea atropurpurea (Wahlenb.) Fr. ex Hartm. ssp. paramushirensis (Kudô) Hultén
Vahlodea flexuosa (Honda ex Nakai) Ohwi
Vahlodea latifolia (Hook.) Hultén
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Vahlodea atropurpurea in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Vahlodea atropurpurea checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Vahlodea atropurpurea atlas page.

CalPhotos: Vahlodea atropurpurea photos.

USDA Plants: Vahlodea atropurpurea information.

12 photographs:
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