General: Perennial, densely tufted herb from short rhizomes, without stolons; 5-50 cm tall.
Leaves: Flat, fringed with fine hairs, 3-15 cm long and 3-6 mm wide; sheaths green.
Flowers: Inflorescence with about 5 to 15, stalked clusters, the clusters dense up to the base without remote basal flowers, each with 6 to 14 flowers; perianth segments pale green to dark brown, 2.5-4 mm long, lanceolate to egg-shaped, pointed or short-awned, the inner about the same length as the outer; styles slightly shorter to longer than the ovaries; stamens 6; anthers 0.6-1.2 mm long, longer than the filaments; bractlets scarcely fringed with a few hairs, less than 1/2 the length of the perianth segments; lower bract leaflike, well-developed, surpassing inflorescence or shorter.
Fruits: Capsules, egg-shaped, the tops blunt or pointed, shorter than or longer than the perianth segments; seeds spindle-shaped, 0.8-1.2 mm long, with short appendages.
Notes: This is a variable species with two subspecies in BC:
1. Outer perianth segments pointed, inner perianth segments blunt or with short, abruptly-pointed awns; capsules pointed, longer than the perianth segments; styles 0.3-0.5 mm long; alpine zone, northern BC....................... ssp. frigida (Buch.) Krecz.
1. All perianth segments equal in shape, slenderly pointed; capsules with blunt tops, shorter than the perianth; styles 0.5-0.8 mm long; lowland or montane zones......................... ssp. multiflora
Dry open forests, rocky slopes and meadows in all vegetation zones; frequent throughout BC; circumpolar or disjunct cosmopolitan, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to VA, KY, IA, ND, MT, ID, and CA; Eurasia, S America, Philippines, New Zealand, Australia.
A shade-intolerant, submontane to montane, circumpolar graminoid (transcontinental in North America). Occurs in cool temperate and cool mesothermal climates on excessively dry to very dry, nitrogen-poor soils (Mor humus forms). Sporadic in non-forested communities and open-canopy Douglas-fir forests on shallow, rapidly drained, stony and rocky, watershedding sites; often inhabits exposed mineral soils. An oxylophytic species characteristic of moisture-deficient sites.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2019. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2020-02-28 8:45:54 PM
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