Culms 20-80(120) cm, stout, usually with several shoots, sparingly branched;
internodes shorter or longer than the sheaths. Sheaths often
purplish; ligules 3-6(12) mm; blades usually 6-16(25) cm long,
2-5(10) mm wide, flat. Panicles (5)10-35 cm long, (2)3-15 cm wide, usually
open, pyramidal; branches spreading, with spikelets more than 5 mm from
the base, usually borne towards the ends; pedicels 1-3 mm. Spikelets
2.4-3.2 mm, often purplish; florets 1; rachilla extensions
about 0.5 mm. Lower glumes 1.5-2.5 mm; upper glumes 2.4-3.2 mm;
lemmas 1.6-3 mm, folded, scabridulous above the middle, awned, awns 5-12
mm; anthers 1-2 mm, greenish to yellowish, often purple-tinged. Caryopses
1-1.5 mm. 2n = 14.
Apera spica-venti grows as a weed in lawns, waste places, grain fields,
sandy ground, and roadsides. Introduced from Europe, it is found in scattered
locations in the Flora region.
Annual 3-10 dm, branched from the base; sheaths smooth; ligules membranous, erose-lacerate, 2-5 mm; lvs scaberulous, elongate, 3-5 mm wide; infl a freely branching, fairly dense panicle 1-2 dm, the branches ascending or spreading at anthesis, naked at base, forking at or above the middle; spikelets 2.4-3.2 mm; glumes lance acuminate, the lower 1-veined, the upper 3-veined; lemma about as long as the second glume; shortly bearded at base, scabrous distally, and bearing just below the tip a straight rough awn 5-12 mm; rachilla prolonged 0.5 mm; 2n=14. Native of Europe, sparingly intr. in waste places from N. Engl. to Md., O., s. Ont., and Mich. (Agrostis s.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.