General: Perennial, tufted grass from fibrous roots, often forming clumps up to 150 cm wide; stems 60-130 cm tall, erect, slender, green or glaucous.
Leaves: Mostly stem leaves; sheaths usually smooth or minutely hairy, the hairs pointed downward; blades 1-4 mm wide, flat to loosely in-rolled, usually smooth below, short-hairy above, rarely hairy on both surfaces; ear-shaped lobes at the leaf-bases well-developed; ligules scarcely 1 mm long, minutely ragged and fringed.
Flowers: Inflorescence a spike, 8-16 mm long, middle internodes 0.8-2.5 cm apart; spikelets 5- to 8-flowered, mostly 1 spikelet per node; glumes 6-15 mm long, 0.9-2.2 mm wide, nerves evenly smooth or rough; lemmas 10-14 mm long, nerved, awned or unawned, the awns 0-20 mm long.
Notes: Awned and unawned specimens differ by a single gene, a difference that some taxonomists (Barkworth 1994) feel does not merit separate taxonomic recognition. Most BC plants are unawned. A key to the two forms follows:
1. Lemmas awned, 10-20 mm long, widely divergent........................... ssp. Spicata
1. Lemmas unawned or nearly so, 0-2 mm long, straight ............................ssp. inermis (Scribn. & J.G. Sm.) A. Love
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2017. 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:
10/12/2017 6:08:49 PM
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