General: Perennial grass from scaly rhizomes; stems hollow, erect, slightly compressed, unbranched or sparingly branched, the internodes dull, finely short-hairy, 30-120 cm tall.
Leaves: Sheaths minutely rough, slightly keeled, appressed-hairy at base; blades flat, 2-6 mm wide, 2-15 cm long, minutely rough or occasionally smooth; ligules membranous, jagged to more or less fringed with fine hairs, the tips squared-off, 0.2-0.6 mm long.
Flowers: Inflorescence a narrow, condensed, spikelike, densely flowered, somewhat lobed panicle, 1.5-12 cm long, 0.3-1.8 cm wide, the branches tightly appressed, 0.2-2.5 cm long, the spikelets densely clustered; spikelets 1-flowered, nearly unstalked to short-stalked; glumes narrow, awl-pointed, 1-nerved, smooth to minutely rough near the tips, nearly equal, usually 1.3-2 times longer than the lemmas, (3) 4-7 (8) mm long, the tips long-pointed, tapering into short awns up to 5 mm long; lemmas lanceolate, 3-nerved, short soft-hairy along the midnerves, margins and at the base, minutely rough near the tips, 1.9-3.1 mm long, the tips long-pointed, unawned or short awn-tipped, the awns up to 1 mm long, minutely rough, the calluses bearded, the hairs short soft-hairy, about 1 mm long; paleas lanceolate, loosely soft-hairy between nerves, about the same length as the lemmas, the tips long-pointed; anthers about 0.8-1.5 mm long, yellowish.
Notes: This species has been studied cytologically and most populations appear to be diploid (2n=20) whereas two close relatives, M. mexicana and M. racemosa, are tetraploids (2n=40). Separation of these taxa is often problematic and major differences are emphasized in the key.
Wet to moist meadows, streambanks, bogs, irrigation ditches, lake margins, and hot springs in the steppe and montane zones; rare in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, NC, KY, IL, IA, NE, CO, UT, NV and NE OR.
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:
23/09/2019 4:17:46 AM
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