Perennial, coarsely tufted grass from short, smooth to strongly short-hairy rhizomes forming large clumps up to 1 m wide; stems solitary or in groups, usually finely short-hairy or smooth, especially near the nodes, 70-220 cm tall.
Sheaths open; blades tough, rough to sometimes finely hairy, mostly flat, (5) 8-20 mm wide; ear-shaped lobes usually well-developed at some leaf-bases; ligules usually short-hairy, membranous, (2) 3-7 mm long.
Inflorescence a stiff, erect spike, (9) 12-20 (25) cm long, sometimes compound, the lateral branches with as many as 5 or 6 spikelet-bearing nodes; spikelets sometimes paired, but usually 3 or more per node, (3-) 4- to 6-flowered, often 1 or more stalked; glumes narrow, awl-like, tapered from the base, 10-20 mm long, often as long as the spikelets; lemmas smooth to inconspicuously hairy, about 10-15 mm long, unawned or more usually awn-tipped, the awns 2-7 mm long; anthers 3-6 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
Present from Spring to Summer
Source: The USDA
||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(31), BWBS(1), ESSF(2), ICH(2), IDF(8), MS(1), PP(8), SBS(2)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Aneurolepidium piperi (Bowden) Baum
Elymus cinereus Scribn. & Merr.
Elymus cinereus var. cinereus
Elymus cinereus var. pubens (Piper) C.L. Hitchc.
Elymus condensatus var. pubens Piper
Elymus piperi Bowden