Culms 20-75 cm, often compressed, at least basally, erect to decumbent,
glabrous. Sheaths usually shorter than the internodes, terete or somewhat
compressed, glabrous or sometimes sparsely hispid below the throat, margins scarious
or sparsely ciliate at the summit; ligules 0.2-0.5 mm, membranous, erose-ciliate;
blades 6-20 cm long, 2-5 mm wide, relatively long and slender, flat or
folded, glabrous abaxially, mostly glabrous adaxially but sparsely pilose basally.
Panicles 5-20 cm, about 1/2 as wide as long, delicate, open; primary
branches flexible, spreading or drooping, with short, crowded secondary branches
and pedicels. Spikelets 1.8-2.4 mm, often purplish, glabrous. Lower
glumes acute; upper glumes and lower lemmas slightly exceeded
by the enlarged, indurate, sterile paleas; upper florets 1.6-1.9 mm, dull-colored,
minutely papillose, acute. 2n = 18, 20.
Steinchisma hians grows in moist or wet, usually open areas, and in moist
pinelands, low woods, and ditches. Its range extends from the southeastern United
States, through Mexico and Central America to Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina.