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Perennial, tufted grass, sometimes from short rhizomes, otherwise from fibrous roots; stems erect, 90-150 (200) cm tall.
Sheaths smooth; blades in-rolled in young shoots, 4-12 mm wide; ear-shaped lobes at the leaf-bases sickle-shaped, slightly wavy or obscure, sparsely fringed with fine hairs on the margins; ligules 0.5-1.5 mm long, membranous.
Inflorescence an open or stiffly erect, simple panicle, 10-35 cm long; spikelets 3- to 6- (9-) flowered, stalked, 8-15.5 mm long, each with 2 glumes; lower glumes 3-6 mm long, upper glumes 4.5-7 (9) mm long; lemmas (4) 5-9 (11.5) mm long, rough short-hairy or short bristlelike at least near the tips (rarely smooth), sometimes unawned, or if awned, the awns 0.3-2 (4) mm long, terminal or attached up to 0.4 mm below the tips; anthers 2.5-4 mm long.
An important crop grown for seed production (primarily in the Peace River District), forage, soil stabilization, and coarse turf, it is increasingly planted in various habitats and becoming broadly adventive.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia