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Perennial, loosely tufted grass from fibrous roots, rhizomes and stolons, these shoots stout, to 4 m long; stems erect or decumbent, stout, 10-60 cm tall/long.
Sheath margins open about 1/2 their length, sheaths hairless or sparsely rough, the projections pointed downward; sterile shoots mainly emerging inside sheaths with well developed two-keeled buds protecting the scales; blades 2-4 mm wide, somewhat curved, in-rolled, thick, outer surface smooth, inner surface of sterile shoots usually distinctly rough or minutely soft-hairy; ligules 1-5 mm long, the tips rounded to sharp-pointed, the backs rough.
Inflorescence an erect panicle, 3-15 cm long, congested, often interrupted; stalks smooth to moderately rough, hairless; central axis and branches slightly to moderately rough, branches 1 to 2 per node; spikelets laterally compressed, 9-16 mm long, 3- to 6-flowered; lower glumes 3-nerved, the upper ones usually more than 7 mm long; rachillas smooth, silky-hairy (rarely hairless); lemmas lanceolate, (6) 7.5-11 mm long, the tips sharp-pointed, 5- to 7- (11-) nerved, surface smooth or rough, the keels, marginal nerves and some lateral nerves minutely soft- to short silky-hairy, smooth and hairless to rough or minutely soft-hairy between the nerves; calluses hairless, diffusely short-cobwebby, or with a crown of wavy hairs; palea keels rough; flowers unisexual; anthers vestigial or 2-5 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia