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Perennial, tough, wiry grass from well-developed rhizomes; stems semi-solid, 60-150 cm tall.
Sheaths open, smooth to soft long-hairy, the hairs at the throats 2-3 mm long; blades 3-8 mm wide, strongly in-rolled, narrowed to long, slender tips; ligules scarcely 1 mm long, of short hairs.
Inflorescence a large, narrow to somewhat spreading panicle up to 40 cm long, the lower branches more or less spreading, 3-6 cm long; spikelets 1-flowered, articulating above the glumes, pale green to purplish; glumes (3.5) 4.5-7 mm long, long-pointed, the lower ones 1.5-2.5 mm shorter than the upper ones; lemmas usually intermediate in length between the 2 glumes, smooth, pointed to blunt, unawned, obscurely nerved, the callus hairs abundant, about 1/2 as long as the lemmas; rachillas not prolonged beyond the paleas; paleas from slightly shorter to longer than the lemmas; lodicules broadly egg-shaped, shallowly lobed, about 0.8 mm long and wide; ovaries smooth; anthers 0.5-4.5 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia