Flowers: June - August
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Perennial herb 20-75 cm, generally tufted, without rhizomes or stolons; stems ascending to erect.
Smooth, mostly basal; ligule membranous, 2--5 mm; proximal blades 4-14 cm x 1-3 mm, flat, finely scabrous; culms 15-90 cm, erect, nodes usually 1-3.
Panicles 8-25 x 0.5-20 cm, broadly ovate, often approximately equal length and width, diffuse, complete panicle often detaching at base, forming a tumbleweed, exserted from the upper sheaths, lowest node with (1)2-7(12) branches; branches scabrous, capillary, flexible, wide-spreading, readily visible, branching beyond midlength; spikelets lanceolate, greenish purple, frequently purple at maturity, distant, lower branches 4-12 cm; pedicels 0.4-9.6 mm; glumes unequal, 1.8-3.4 mm, lanceolate, 1-veined, keels scabrous at least towards the apices, apices acuminate; callus hairs to 0.2 mm, sparse; lemmas 1.4-2 mm, scabrous to scabridulous or smooth, translucent to opaque, 5-veined, veins prominent, apices acute to obtuse, usually entire, sometimes minutely toothed, unawned or awned from below midlength, awns 0.2-3 mm, exceeding the lemma apices by up to 2.5 mm, geniculate or straight, persistent; paleas absent or to 0.2 mm; anthers 3, 0.4-0.8 mm, usually shed at anthesis.
Caryopses ranging 0.9-1.4 mm; with endosperm liquid.