Robust perennial from an extensive creeping rhizome; overground stolons sometimes present, straight, nodes glabrous. Culms up to 2 m or more tall, ca. 6 mm in diam., usually farinose below nodes, nodes glabrous or pubescent. Leaf sheaths light green, glabrous or thinly hairy; leaf blades usually drooping, up to 50 × 1–3 cm, smooth or margins scabrous, tapering to a filiform apex; ligule a minute membranous rim, ciliate, hairs 0.2–0.6 mm. Panicle 20–50 × ca. 10 cm, branches of lowermost whorl usually spiculate to base, densely hirsute at insertion; pedicels 2–4 mm, glabrous or pilose only at base. Spikelets 10–18 mm, florets 2–5; glumes acute, lower glume up to 1/2 length of lowest lemma, 3–5 mm, upper glume 6–9 mm; lowest lemma linear-lanceolate, 8–15 mm; floret callus with hairs equal to lemma; bisexual lemmas very narrowly lanceolate, 9–16 mm, apex long attenuate. Fl. and fr. Jul–Nov. 2n = 36, 44, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 84, 96, 120.
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