Perennial, tufted grass from fibrous roots, often forming clumps up to 150 cm wide; stems 60-130 cm tall, erect, slender, green or glaucous.
Mostly stem leaves; sheaths usually smooth or minutely hairy, the hairs pointed downward; blades 1-4 mm wide, flat to loosely in-rolled, usually smooth below, short-hairy above, rarely hairy on both surfaces; ear-shaped lobes at the leaf-bases well-developed; ligules scarcely 1 mm long, minutely ragged and fringed.
Inflorescence a spike, 8-16 mm long, middle internodes 0.8-2.5 cm apart; spikelets 5- to 8-flowered, mostly 1 spikelet per node; glumes 6-15 mm long, 0.9-2.2 mm wide, nerves evenly smooth or rough; lemmas 10-14 mm long, nerved, awned or unawned, the awns 0-20 mm long.
Awned and unawned specimens differ by a single gene, a difference that some taxonomists (Barkworth 1994) feel does not merit separate taxonomic recognition. Most BC plants are unawned. A key to the two forms follows:
1. Lemmas awned, 10-20 mm long, widely divergent........................... ssp. Spicata
1. Lemmas unawned or nearly so, 0-2 mm long, straight ............................ssp. inermis (Scribn. & J.G. Sm.) A. Love
||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
|AT(9), BG(829), BWBS(4), ESSF(97), ICH(128), IDF(1520), MS(202), PP(624), SBPS(12), SBS(9)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013