Perennial tufted grass from tough, underground, scaly rhizomes to 25 cm long; stems 20-120 cm tall.
Sheaths smooth; blades 4-10 cm long, 3-8 mm wide, usually flat; ligules longer than wide, 2-6 mm long.
Inflorescence open, broadly egg-shaped, 8-25 cm long, the branches spreading, the lower branches 4-7 cm long, but mixed with many short branches resulting in a crowding of the spikelets to the branch base (except in shade plants), the branches spreading broadly at flowering time and remaining so; glumes 1.7-3.2 mm long; lemmas 1.5-2.2 mm long, awnless or rarely with short, straight awns from near the tips; callus hairs sparse, up to 0.5 mm long; rachillas absent; paleas 0.7-1.4 mm long, as least 1/2 as long as the lemmas; anthers 1-1.4 mm long.
This species was formerly combined with A. stolonifera under the illegitimate name A. alba. It is distinguished from A. stolonifera by its underground rhizomes, its open inflorescence and tolerance of much drier habitats.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
Present over the Summer
Source: The USDA
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|ESSF(13), ICH(16), IDF(55), MS(1), PP(4), SBS(2)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Agrostis gigantea var. dispar (Michx.) Philipson
Agrostis nigra With.
Agrostis stolonifera subsp. gigantea (Roth) Schuebl. & Martens
Agrostis stolonifera var. major