Distribution: Alaska south to California, east to Montana and Colorado.
Habitat: Ocean beaches to mountain meadows,usually where moist, but also from dry sagebrush desert to rocky ridges.
Flowers: June - August
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Tufted perennial, the culms 4-8 dm. tall.
Sheaths open, glabrous to finely pubescent; auricles none; ligules 0.5 mm. long with marginal hairs; blades 2-6 mm. broad.
Inflorescence a terminal spike, usually erect, 5-10 cm. long; spikelets 3 per node, 1-flowered, the central spikelet sessile, the lateral spikelets with a curved pedicle 1 mm. long; glumes slender and awn-like, 7-12 mm. long; lemmas rounded on the back, 5-nerved, the one on the central floret with an awn exceeding the glumes; lateral florets reduced, sometimes staminate.