Perennial, tufted grass from short rhizomes; stems erect, hollow, smooth, 15-40 cm tall.
Sheaths open, smooth; blades 1-3 mm wide, in-rolled or flat, smooth on the lower surfaces, hairy on the upper surfaces; ligules consisting of 1/2 basal membrane and 1/2 terminal fringe of hairs, about 0.6 mm long.
Inflorescence a contracted panicle, 1.5-4.5 (5.5) cm long; spikelets 3-flowered, including 2 sterile or male lower florets, tawny, short-stalked, 5-8 mm long; glumes about equal to the lemmas; lower 2 lemmas hairy, awned, the awns arising from fairly deeply bidentate tips, the awns of the lower sterile lemmas straight, 2-4 mm long, the awns of the upper sterile lemmas about 4-8 mm long, twisted, abruptly bent, arising at about midlength or below, the fertile lemmas hairy towards the tips, unawned; anthers about 1.2 mm long; lodicules narrowly egg-shaped to lanceolate, slightly jagged and lobed.
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
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Hierochlod alpina subsp. alpina
Hierochloe alpina subsp. alpina
Hierochloe odorata (L.) P. Beauv.
Savastana alpina (Sw. ex Willd.) Scribn.