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Annual grass from fibrous roots, basally branching; stems decumbent to erect, 10-100 cm tall.
Sheaths keeled, smooth; blades flat to folded, 4-11 mm wide, smooth or fringed with soft fine hairs at the throats, the collars slightly hairy or smooth; ligules scarcely 2 mm long, fringed with fine hairs.
Inflorescence a rather narrow, cylindrical panicle, not obviously lobed, rarely over 10 cm long, 15 mm wide when pressed; spikelets 2-flowered, 3-3.6 mm long, each subtended by 2 or 3 (4), rough bristles that are up to 3 times as long as the spikelets, the hairs directed upwards; lower flowers staminate or sterile, the upper fertile; fertile lemmas and paleas nearly completely enclosed by the upper glumes and sterile lemmas, and not shed separately from them, usually evidently cross-wrinkled when mature.
Closely related to S. italica.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia