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Perennial grass from fibrous roots, often more or less from stolons; stems 20-60 cm tall.
Sheaths open; blades lax, flat to somewhat in-rolled, 1-2 mm wide; ligules rounded, (1) 1.5-3.5 mm long.
Inflorescence a narrow panicle, (5) 8-15 cm long, the branches smooth or sometimes slightly rough, mostly erect, mostly only 1-3 cm long, the lower branches of the fruiting inflorescences usually erect to ascending, occasionally spreading; spikelets (4-) 5- to 6- (7-) flowered, spikelet stalks usually uniformly rough, occasionally nearly smooth and bearing a few scattered projections; florets apparently closed, self-fertile; glumes broad, usually one or both slightly jagged or more or less fringed with fine hairs toward the tips, the lower ones about 1.5 mm long, the upper ones mostly 2.2-2.5 mm long; rachilla joints slightly over 1 mm long; lemmas narrowed abruptly, entire below, more or less fringed with fine hairs to jagged or even lobed above, sparsely short-hairy near the base, 3-3.6 mm long, lemma tips sharp-pointed to broadly rounded, paleas nearly equal to the lemmas; lodicules 0.5-1 mm long; anthers 0.7-1.2 mm long, usually partially exserted.
Puccinellia nutkaensis is sometimes barely distinct from P. nuttalliana, and like other named entities may represent an ecological race of the latter species. Larger plants in E and W North America have been recognized as P. lucida, but they are not consistently differentiable from P. nutkaensis.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia