General: Perennial, more or less densely tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems 15-120 cm tall.
Leaves: Sheath margins open 3/4-9/10 their length; sterile shoots emerging inside sheaths and breaking through the sheath bases; blades 0.4-3 (5) mm wide, often glaucous (ssp. juncifolia), flat, folded, or in-rolled, thin or thick, smooth or rough; ligules 0.5-10 mm long, the tips blunt to long-pointed, the backs smooth or rough.
Flowers: Inflorescence an erect, somewhat lax panicle, 2-25 cm long, usually moderately green or purplish, narrowly lanceolate to egg-shaped, congested, more or less open in flower and contracted at maturity, infrequently permanently open, some glaucous, the branches usually 1 to 3 per node, usually appressed or ascending, usually sparsely to distinctly rough on and between weakly developed angles, with spikelets in the terminal 1/2; spikelets weakly laterally compressed to nearly round, usually narrowly lanceolate, green or strongly purplish, 4-8 mm long, some glaucous, (2-) 3- to 10-flowered; glumes broadly lanceolate, the keels indistinct, the lower glumes 3-nerved; rachilla internodes usually exceeding 1 mm long, smooth or rough; lemmas lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate or slightly oblanceolate, weakly keeled, 3.5-5 mm long, the tips rounded to broadly sharp-pointed (with broad thin margins), hairless or minutely soft- to short silky-hairy on the keels and marginal nerves, hairless or hairy between the nerves; calluses hairless or with a crown of hairs up to 0.5 (2) mm long; palea keels rough, medially some minutely soft- or short silky-hairy; flowers bisexual; anthers 1.5-3 mm long.
Notes: Two variable, facultatively apomictic subspecies occur in BC:
1. Lemmas smooth or minutely rough, at most crisp short-hairy on the nerves near the base; palea nerves rough; ligules all less than 2 mm long, squared-off to rounded, firm, rough on the backs.............. ssp. juncifolia (Scribn.) Soreng
1. Lemmas more or less short-hairy to silky-hairy on the nerves and between them, rarely smooth between the nerves; palea mostly silky-hairy on the nerves below and between them; ligules of at least the upper stem leaves more than 2 mm long, sharp-pointed to long-pointed, smooth or rough................. ssp. secunda
Dry to moist meadows and grasslands from the steppe to lower alpine zones; ssp. juncifolia - common in saline to alkaline meadows and grasslands to rich meadows in the steppe and montane zones; ssp. secunda - common on well-drained meadows and grasslands in the steppe and montane zones; N to extreme S AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to MX, MI, MN, OK, NM, AZ and CA
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. 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:
2021-04-12 1:13:19 PM
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