Perennial, tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems (20) 40-80 (100) cm tall.
Sheaths open, smooth to finely more or less appressed-hairy or spreading hairy; blades smooth to finely more or less appressed-hairy or spreading hairy, 2-6 (9) mm wide; ear-shaped lobes at the leaf-bases lacking; ligules more or less fringed with fine hairs, barely 0.5 mm long.
Inflorescence an erect spike, 5-10 cm long, longer than wide; central spikelets unstalked, the lateral ones short-stalked, the stalks curved, stiff-hairy, about 1 mm long; glumes all slender, awnlike, 7-12 (20) mm long; central florets usually with awns exceeding the glumes, the lateral florets mostly sterile, often awnlike, but sometimes with all male flowers; lemma awns 5-10 (20) mm long; anthers 1-1.5 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
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Critesion brachyantherum (Nevski) Barkworth & D.R. Dewey
Critesion jubatum subsp. breviaristatum (Bowden) A.& D. L÷ve
Hordeum boreale Scribn. & J.G. Sm.
Hordeum jubatum subsp. breviaristatum Bowden
Hordeum jubatum var. boreale (Scribn. & J.G. Sm.) Boivin
Hordeum jubatum var. breviaristatum
Hordeum nodosum L. p.p.
Hordeum nodosum var. boreale (Scribn. & J.G. Sm.) A.S. Hitchc.