General: Perennial, loosely tufted, fine to coarse, slender to robust grass from fibrous roots and rhizomes; stems unbranched, 20-120 cm tall, with 2 to 4 nodes.
Leaves: Sheath summits smooth or rarely with tufts of hair; leaf blades often in-rolled or stiff and flat, 2-6 mm wide, 5-30 cm long, smooth to rough or glaucous above, smooth or rough below; ligules 1-5.5 mm long, entire or with jagged margins at the tips.
Flowers: Inflorescence a stiff, erect, congested panicle 5-20 cm long, the longer branches 1.5-5 cm long, spikelet-bearing for over 1/2 their length; spikelets 2-4.5 cm long, 1-flowered; glumes 2-6 mm long, subequal, thin and smooth or thick and opaque, smooth to rough short-hairy, inconspicuously rough on the keels, occasionally translucent on the margins, sometimes purple-tinged; lemmas 2-5 mm long, notched or 4-toothed at the tips, finely rough, bearing stout to slender, straight or sometimes twisted and bent awns attached 1/3-1/2 above the base of the lemmas and extending about to the tips of the glumes or slightly beyond, sometimes shorter than the glumes, the callus hairs of varying length, up to 1/2 to 3/4 as long as the florets; paleas 1/2 to almost as long as the lemmas, thin, usually translucent, sometimes inconspicuously rough short-hairy along the nerves; rachillas about 1 mm long, bearded with hairs as long as those of the calluses; anthers either normally or poorly developed, then sterile and remaining closed at maturity.
Notes: Two subspecies occur in BC. The ssp. inexpansa includes many apomictic forms and intergrades with the ssp. stricta. Coastal forms of ssp. inexpansa with hard, stiff glumes have been separated as C. crassiglumis, but these seem to be forms that are capable of reproducing asexually part of the time and easily fall within this morphologically variable species. The subspecies may be separated as follows:
1. Glumes thick, often opaque, 3-6 mm long; blades 3-6 mm wide, flat, rough above, usually somewhat rough below; ligules 3-6 mm long, often with jagged margins....................ssp. inexpansa (A. Gray) C.W. Greene
1. Glumes thin, 2-4.5 mm long; blades 2-4 mm wide, often in-rolled, smooth to rough above, usually smooth below; ligules 1-3 mm long, usually entire....................ssp. stricta
Mesic to wet meadows, gravel bars, fens, marshes, lakeshores and open forests in the montane to alpine zones; ssp. inexpansa - common in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, infrequent in coastal BC; ssp. stricta - frequent in N BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, rare in SC and SE BC; ssp. inexpansa - amphiberingian, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, NH, NY, OH, IN, NE, NM, AZ and CA; NE Asia; ssp. stricta - circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT, E to Labr. and S to NH, MI and CO; Eurasia.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2023-12-02 5:31:31 PM
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