Distribution: Native to Eurasia; Alaska to Greenland and south to California, Texas, and North Carolina.
Habitat: Disturbed, open areas.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Strong perennial with long, tough, wiry rhizomes, the culms erect to decumbent, up to 1 m. tall.
Sheaths open, auricles well-developed; ligules under 0.5 mm. long; blades flat, usually hairy, 5-10 mm. broad.
Inflorescence a stiff, erect spike 7-15 mm. long, the rachis not disarticulating; spikelets 5- to 6-flowered, 1 per node, crowded, about twice as long as the internodes; glumes lanceolate, awn-tipped, 5- to 7-nerved, 6-7 mm. long; lemmas slightly longer than the glumes, acute, awnless or with a straight awn up to 10 mm. long; paleas equaling the lemmas.