A. virginicus is a perennial grass forming narrow clumps of stems up to just over a meter in maximum height [approx. 3 feet 3 inches]. Its stems and leaves are green when new, turning purplish to orange and then straw-colored with age. It produces large amounts of seeds small enough to disperse on the wind. This grass is successful in a wide range of habitats. It is a prolific seed producer, it has a high germination rate and seedling survival rate, and it thrives in poor soils.