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Perennial, loosely tufted grass from fibrous roots or short rhizomes; stems mostly 40-80 (100) cm tall.
Sheaths usually minutely rough but sometimes soft-hairy; blades flat, rough to sparsely soft-hairy, 2-4 (6) mm wide; ligules minutely short hairy externally, squared-off, more or less fringed with fine hairs, 2.5-4 mm long.
Inflorescence a narrow panicle, 8-15 cm long, the branches erect or ascending; spikelets 2- to 3-flowered, usually purplish before flowering, nearly unstalked; rachilla joints about 1.5 mm long, sparsely stiff-hairy, the hairs about 1 mm long; glumes nearly equal in width and length, usually exceeding the lower or even the upper florets, the lower ones 4-6 (6.5) mm long, the upper ones 5.5-7 mm long; lemmas 4-5 mm long, blunt, unawned or with awns rarely exceeding the lemmas, the calluses very sparsely hairy, with hairs about 1 mm long; lodicules oblong, slenderly lobed to fringed with hairs, about 1 mm long; anthers up to 1.5 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia