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Perennial grass from fibrous roots; stems curved, ascending, hollow, 10-70 cm tall.
Sheaths open, keeled, more or less short stiff-hairy, the margins thin and transparent; blades 2-6 mm wide, 3-12 cm long, abruptly contracted at the tops, greyish- to bluish-green; ligules 5-7 mm long.
Inflorescence a narrow, more or less spikelike panicle, 5-25 cm long, contracted in fruit, with all branches borne on 1 side of the axis, the branches 1 to 3 at the central panicle nodes, smooth, the longer branches with 1 to 6 spikelets, the shorter branches with 1 (2) spikelet; spikelets 5- to 7-flowered, narrowly oblong, lax, greyish-green or purplish, 15-20 mm long; lower glumes 1.5-2.5 mm long, egg-shaped, nearly to quite sharp-pointed, the upper ones 2.5-4 mm long, elliptical, nearly blunt; lemmas prominently 7-nerved, cylindrical to egg-shaped, 3.5-4.5 mm long, rough, narrowly translucent, with 3 to 5 distinct, blunt or sharp-pointed teeth at the tips; paleas lanceolate, deeply cleft at the tips into 2, somewhat divergent, awl-tipped teeth, distinctly exceeding the lemmas; stamens 3; anthers 0.6-1.1 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia