Perennial grass from rhizomes; stems erect to decumbent, hollow, usually smooth except at the bearded nodes, the hairs directed downwards, (20) 50-100 cm tall.
Sheaths open, usually smooth; blades (3) 4-10 mm wide, flat, sometimes somewhat hairy; ligules finely short-hairy, strongly eroded-jagged and more or less fringed with fine hairs, 2-3 mm long.
Inflorescence a greyish, purplish-tinged panicle, 4-15 cm long; spikelets 2-flowered, the upper floret male, tawny, short-stalked, 5-6 mm long; glumes (4) 4.5-5.5 mm long, long-pointed, usually at least hairy on the keels; lemmas about 2.2 mm long, strongly bearded on the calluses, the lower ones unawned, the upper ones awned, the awns curved or bent, exserted, arising from somewhat above midlength; rachillas sparsely stiff-hairy or sometimes smooth, anthers about 1.7 mm long; lodicules linear-lanceolate, about 0.7 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