Perennial, dioecious grass from rhizomes, the rhizomes extensive, sharp-tipped, sometimes more or less stoloniferous; stems solid, sometimes decumbent, 10-40 cm tall/long.
Sheaths smooth except on the summits of the margins, the collars with or without long hairs; blades 2-4 mm wide, mostly in-rolled, smooth or soft-hairy to stiff-hairy on the upper surface; ligules about 0.5 mm long, the margins irregularly jagged, more or less fringed with coarse hairs, the fronts of the collars with many hairs, 0.5-3 mm long.
Inflorescence a compact to loose panicle 3-8 cm long, the spikelets and their stalks obvious or the stalks not obvious; spikelets few- to many-flowered, the male ones yellowish, 7- to 16-flowered, strongly compressed, the female more greenish, 5- to 9-flowered; glumes shorter than the lower lemmas, unequal, the lower ones about 3.5 mm long, the upper about 5 mm long; lemmas membranous (male spikelets) or more or less firm-papery (female spikelets), about 3-6 mm long, the female lemmas harder.
Two varieties occur in BC
1. Long hairs usually present on the collars as well as at the summits of the sheath margins; plants of the steppe zone..................... var. stricta (Torr.) Beetle
1. Hairs usually lacking on the collars, present only on the summits of the sheath margins; plants maritime....................... var. spicata
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
USDA Flower Colour:
USDA Blooming Period:
USDA Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Present from Summer to Fall