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Perennial, tufted grass from thick, ascending rhizomes forming large clumps; stems erect, stout, usually finely but copiously hairy or sometimes smooth above, 50-150 cm tall.
Sheaths open, smooth; blades tough, very finely minutely rough appressed-hairy on the upper surfaces and smooth underneath, with numerous prominent nerves, flat to in-rolled, 6-15 mm wide; ear-shaped lobes usually developed at some leaf-bases; ligules more or less fringed with fine hairs, scarcely 1 mm long.
Inflorescence a stout spike, (10) 15-30 cm long, 1-2 cm wide; spikelets paired, 4- to 6-flowered, unstalked or if occasionally short-stalked then inflorescence slightly compounded, 20-30 (33) mm long; glumes lanceolate, usually soft-hairy but sometimes only sparsely short-hairy, prominently 3- to 6-nerved and flat, at least at the base, usually membranous-margined, long-pointed, mostly nearly equal to the spikelets, 15-25 mm long, awn-tipped; lemmas generally copiously soft-hairy but rarely only sparsely hairy, mostly prominently-nerved, membranous-margined, 10-20 mm long, long-pointed to abruptly slender-tipped, but scarcely awned; anthers 5-9 mm long.
A hybrid between Leymus mollis and Elymus glaucus, known only from Ucluelet and Gold River, has been named Leymus x uclueletensis (Bowden) Baum (Elymus x uclueletensis Bowden). A second hybrid, which is infrequent in SW BC, Leymus x vancouverensis (Vasey) Pilger (Elymus vancouverensis Vasey), has been proposed as a hybrid between Leymus mollis and L. triticoides (Buckl.) Pilger. See Hitchcock et al. (1969) for more detailed descriptions of these hybrids.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia