Distribution: Southern British Columbia south along the coast to California; east of the Cascades mainly along water courses or around springs in the mountains, east to Montana and Wyoming.
Habitat: Rocky or sandy river banks or lake margins to open woods, marshy areas or dry prairies, from sea level to high elevation in the mountains.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Perennial 1-3 dm. tall, the hollow culms simple in the spring, often branched and prostrate-spreading in the fall, with soft hairs throughout.
Sheaths open, ligules 3-4 mm. long, mainly of straight hairs; upper blades of the vernal culms larger than the basal, 5-12 mm. broad, those of the branches reduced; nodes with a ring of spreading hairs subtended by a glabrous band.
Inflorescence an open panicle 3-9 cm long and nearly as wide; spikelets articulate below the glumes, 2-flowered, 1.5-2 mm. long, elliptic-oblong to obovate; first glume about 0.5 mm. long, acute or obtuse, 1-nerved; second glume and sterile lemma obtuse, 7-9 nerved, about as long as the fruit at maturity, the two enclosing the fertile flower; second lemma hardened and very faintly nerved, the margins overlapping the equally firm palea.