Annual grass from fibrous roots; stems often somewhat decumbent to erect, up to 100 cm tall.
Sheaths open, soft-hairy to stiff-hairy, with many of the hairs minutely blistery, 2-5 mm long; basal leaves similar to the stem leaves, the blades crisp-margined, 7-15 mm wide; ligules about 2 mm long.
Inflorescence an erect, branched panicle, 10-30 cm long, the branches rough, erect; spikelets 2-flowered, 4.5-6 mm long, the lower florets sterile, the upper ones always fertile; glumes smooth, strongly-nerved, the lower ones about 7-nerved, long-pointed, at least 1/2 the length of the spikelets, 2-3 mm long, the upper ones 11-nerved, long-pointed; sterile lemmas smooth, strongly 9- to 11-nerved, the paleas membranous, bilobed, about 1.5 mm long; fertile lemmas much-hardened and faintly-nerved; lodicules about 0.5 mm long, semi-tubular.
Occasionally cultivated in our region and continuously reintroduced from commercial birdseed.
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 Fall to Winter
Source: The USDA