The purple-tinted stems and flowers of this erect, compact grass attract attention during the warm months, especially where it grows abundantly along roadsides. The fine-textured foliage ranges in color from green to blue. In the fall, the three long awns attached to each seed glow in the sunlight. It has a wide distribution, growing at elevations from 1000 to 5000 feet in much of the Southwest. It thrives in sunny, dry locations, preferring minimal irrigation. It reseeds prolifically if water is available.