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Perennial grass from fibrous roots, but sometimes rooting at the lower nodes; stems smooth to hairy at the nodes, 60-150 (200) cm tall.
Sheaths usually open for 1-2 cm, strongly soft-hairy to smooth with long fine hairs at the throats; blades (4) 6-10 (15) mm wide, flat, commonly sparsely soft-hairy at least on the upper surfaces, but sometimes smooth; ear-shaped lobes lacking at the leaf-bases; ligules strongly hairy, jagged, brown, 2-5 mm long.
Inflorescence an open, nodding panicle, 15-30 cm long, the branches elongate, spreading to drooping, usually bearing spikelets only towards the tips; spikelets loosely (5-) 7- to 11-flowered, somewhat compressed, 20-30 (35) mm long; florets small, closed, self-fertilizing; glumes lanceolate, usually short-hairy, long-pointed, the lower ones 1 (3)-nerved, 6-9 mm long, the upper ones 3- (5- to 7-) nerved, 9-10 mm long; lemmas rough to short-hairy evenly over the entire surface, rounded to slightly keeled on the backs, 11-14 mm long, the tips long-pointed, shallowly bidentate, awned, the awns 4-10 mm long; anthers exserted, 1-3 (4) mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia