Annual grass from fibrous roots; stems hollow, erect, (5) 10-60 cm tall.
Sheaths open, smooth; blades flat, 2-8 mm wide, the margins freed from the sheaths at different levels; ligules membranous, 3-6 mm long, higher in the centres opposite the throats, but the free membranes only 1-4 mm long.
Inflorescence an open, pyramidal panicle 5-15 cm long, much branched, lax, the lower branches 1 or 2 together, spreading; spikelets usually more than 12, broadly triangular, 2-5 mm long, (3-) 4- to 6-flowered, compressed, usually pale green, articulating above the glumes, the slender stalks usually longer than the spikelets; glumes 2-3.5 mm long, concave, hood-shaped, 3- to 5-nerved, more or less leathery, at right angles to the rachillas; lemmas 1.5-2 mm long, awnless, obscurely nerved, egg-shaped, blunt, heart-shaped at the base, pimpled on the back; paleas somewhat shorter than the lemmas; lodicules 2, thin, membranous, about 0.7 mm long; ovaries smooth; anthers scarcely 1 mm long.
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