Perennial, tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems erect, 30-70 cm tall.
Sheaths smooth to rough, strongly ribbed, not fringed along the margins; blades in-rolled and 0.5-2 mm wide, or if flat, up to 4 mm wide; ligules of the upper leaves to 7 mm long, usually pointed, sometimes jagged at the tips.
Inflorescence a loose, but narrow panicle, 10-28 cm long, the branches ascending; glumes narrow, nearly equal, papery; lower glumes 18-35 mm long, upper glumes 1-3 mm shorter; lemmas 7-13 mm long, evenly covered with 1 mm-long white hairs or smooth across the back of the lemma, awned, the awns firm and straight or zig-zagged and curved, 5-30 cm long; calluses 2-4 mm long, hairy.
Two subspecies occur in BC:
1. Terminal segment of the awn firm, straight or almost so, usually less than 5.5 cm long.................... ssp. intermedia (Scribn. & Tweedy) Barkw.
1. Terminal segment of the awn zig-zagged, curved, usually more than 5.5 cm long................... ssp. comata
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
||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
|BG(4), IDF(2), PP(4)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013