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Perennial, tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems hollow, 30-60 cm tall.
Sheaths open, usually smooth; blades (2) 3-7 mm wide, flat, usually slightly soft-hairy or fringed with soft hairs at least near the base, the hairs 1-2 mm long, with ear-shaped lobes at the leaf-bases well developed; ligules (1) 2-3 mm long, membranous, the margins minutely fringed with small hairs.
Inflorescence a narrow, congested panicle, 2-9 cm long, tawny; glumes pointed, rough short-hairy, the lower ones 4-5 mm long, 1-nerved, the upper ones 8-10 mm long, 3-nerved; sterile lemmas more or less equal, about 3 mm long, narrow, rounded and shallow-notched at the tips, soft-hairy to stiff-hairy, the first ones awned from the back somewhat above the midlength, the awns about 3 mm long, the second ones awned from well below the midlength, the awns 7-10 mm long, twisted and abruptly bent; fertile lemmas about 2 mm long, firm, smooth, brown; paleas nearly equal to the lemmas; anthers 4-5 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia