Distribution: Southern Alaska south to California, east to Ontario and Indiana.
Habitat: Prairies, open woods, and dry to moist hillsides, from the lowlands to mid-elevations in the mountains.
Flowers: June - August
Growth Duration: Perennial
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Tufted perennials, forming clumps up to 10 cm. wide, the hollow culms 5-10 dm. tall.
Sheaths open, glabrous to pubescent, the collar often purplish; auricles usually present and well-developed; ligules about 1 mm. long, with marginal hairs; blades flat, 5-10 mm. broad, glabrous or scabrous to hairy.
Inflorescence as single, terminal, stiff spike 5-15 cm. long; spikelets overlapping, usually 2 per node, borne flatwise on the rachis, 3- to 5-flowered, disarticulating above the glume; glumes narrowly lanceolate, mostly membranous, strongly 3- to 5-nerved, acuminate to short-awned; lemmas mostly glabrous, 10-12 mm. long, usually with a straight awn 1-2 cm. long; paleas nearly as long as the body of the lemmas.