Culms tufted, 4-10 dm, often purplish below, without rhizomes; lvs forming large basal rosettes 15-30 cm high, usually involute and 1-2.5(-3) mm wide, the few cauline ones 5-7 cm; ligule 3-5 mm; infl narrow and ±dense, (7-)9-16(-20) cm, with short, erect branches, at least some of which bear spikelets to near the base; spikelets 2-5-fld; glumes acuminate, often scabrous, the first lanceolate, 2.4-3.7 mm, the second oblong, 2.9-4.5 mm; lemmas 4-5.5 mm, obscurely 5-veined, scarcely keeled, crisp-puberulent on the lower half, sometimes more strongly so on the central and marginal veins, not webbed; rachilla usually finely puberulent at 30 2n=72-106. Dry soil; e. Que.; n. Mich. and Minn. to Man. and Neb., w. to Alas., Calif., and Tex.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.