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Annual grass from fibrous roots; stems with nodes and collars hairy, 100-300 cm tall.
Sheaths open, prominently cross-nerved; blades flat, 6-40 mm wide; ligules blunt to pointed, entire to more often ragged, 4-15 mm long, smooth externally, marked in front by the upturned margins of the blades.
Inflorescence a large panicle, 20-50 cm long; spikelets linear, falling entire, 1-flowered, either male or female, the male spikelets lowermost in inflorescence, somewhat compressed, not hardened, 6-8 mm long, the lemmas 5-nerved, long-pointed to awn-tipped, the anthers 6-7 mm long, the female spikelets nearly circular in cross-section, tapered but strongly angled, hardened, 10-14 (in fruit 20) mm long, hairy towards the tips, tapered into awns 6-40 mm long; glumes apparently lacking, but often at least one of them vestigial in the male spikelet; paleas as long as the lemmas except for the awns; lodicules 2, bilobed, about 0.6 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia