Distribution: Alaska to Quebec, south through the United States except for the Deep South
Habitat: Wet places, sea level to mid-elevations in the mountains
Flowers: Late June - August
Growth Duration: Perennial
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Strongly rhizomatous perennial, the smooth culms 6-12 dm. tall.
Sheaths open, the collor glabrous to strongly pubescent; ligules membranous, 3-8 mm. long, usually lacerate; blades flat, scabrous, 3-8 mm. broad.
Inflorescence an open, diffuse panicle 15-25 cm. long; spikelets 1-flowered; glumes usually purplish, 2.5-6 mm. long, pointed, scabrous on the keel; lemma papery, shorter than the glumes, with a straight awn about the same length attached at midlength or above; palea shorter than the lemma, the rachilla prolonged behind the palea about 0.2-1.3 mm. and strongly bearded; callus hairs long and abundant.