Distribution: British Columbia south in the Olympics and Cascades to California, east to Saskatchewan and Colorado.
Habitat: Sagebrush plains to alpine meadows and ridges.
Flowers: June - August
Growth Duration: Perennial
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Smooth, strongly tufted perennial, the culms hollow, 2-4 dm. tall.
Sheaths closed about half their length; ligules 1-3 mm. long, acute, jagged, glabrous; blades of the fertile stems 1-3.5 mm. broad, flat; blades of the sterile stems 0.5-1 mm. broad, involute, often 1-2 dm. long; all blades with prow-like tips.
Inflorescence a compact, ovoid panicle 2-6 cm. long, greenish or purplish; spikelets 3- to 5-flowered, 5-8 mm. long; flowers usually pistillate, the anthers vestigial or wanting, but occasionally the plants staminate- or perfect-flowered; glumes subequal, 3-nerved, 3.5-5 mm. long, shorter than the first floret; lemmas keeled, 5-nerved, 4.5-6 mm. long, pubescent; paleas slightly shorter than the lemmas, 2-keeled.