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Annual grass from fibrous roots, basally branching; stems decumbent to erect, up to 100 cm tall.
Sheaths keeled, smooth; blades flat to folded, 4-11 mm wide, more or less pimpled or soft-hairy on the upper surfaces near the base, the hairs 2-4 mm long; ligules with the membranous basal portions about as long as the fringes, scarcely 1 mm long.
Inflorescence a cylindrical panicle, mostly 4-10 cm long, about 1 cm wide when pressed; spikelets 2-flowered, 3-3.6 mm long, each subtended by (4) 5 or 6 (20), stiff short, yellow bristles that are up to 3 times as long as the spikelet, the bristles directed upwards; lower glumes 3-nerved, 1/3 the length of the spikelets, the upper ones 5-nerved, 2/3 as long; lower flowers male or sterile, the upper fertile, the lower flowers with lemmas that include well-developed paleas just as long; fertile lemmas finely but distinctly cross-wrinkled.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia