Distribution: Alberta east to Quebec, south through most of the United States east of the rockies; sparingly introduced in the Pacific Northwest.
Habitat: Prairies and foothills.
Flowers: July - August
Growth Duration: Perennial
Conservation Status: Threatened in Washington (WANHP)
Tufted perennial, but also with rhizomes, the culms 8-10 dm. tall, solid, grooved above the nodes.
Sheaths open, usually glabrous, strongly keeled; ligules 1-1.5 mm. long, puberulent; blades flat or folded, 2-5 mm. broad, mostly glabrous.
Inflorescence a branched panicle, each branch ending in a single, arching raceme 3-5 cm. long; spikelets in pairs, one sessile and one pedicellate, the pedicellate spikelet 4-5 mm. long, sterile, with an awn 1-4 mm. long; sessile spikelet 2-flowered, 7-9 mm. long, with an awn 10-13 mm. long, the upper flower perfect, the lower an empty lemma; palea much reduced, lacerate.