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Annual grass from fibrous roots; stems often somewhat decumbent to erect, up to 100 cm tall.
Sheaths open, soft-hairy to stiff-hairy, with many of the hairs minutely blistery, 2-5 mm long; basal leaves similar to the stem leaves, the blades crisp-margined, 7-15 mm wide; ligules about 2 mm long.
Inflorescence an erect, branched panicle, 10-30 cm long, the branches rough, erect; spikelets 2-flowered, 4.5-6 mm long, the lower florets sterile, the upper ones always fertile; glumes smooth, strongly-nerved, the lower ones about 7-nerved, long-pointed, at least 1/2 the length of the spikelets, 2-3 mm long, the upper ones 11-nerved, long-pointed; sterile lemmas smooth, strongly 9- to 11-nerved, the paleas membranous, bilobed, about 1.5 mm long; fertile lemmas much-hardened and faintly-nerved; lodicules about 0.5 mm long, semi-tubular.
Occasionally cultivated in our region and continuously reintroduced from commercial birdseed.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia