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DescriptionThis dioecious perennial grass has separate male (staminate) and female (pistillate) plants. There are also vegetative shoots without spikelets. The male plants are about 6-8" tall; they have unbranched culms with about 3-4 alternate leaves along the lower two-thirds of the culm. The culms are light green, glabrous, terete to somewhat flattened in cross-section, and mostly hidden by the sheaths. The leaf blades are up to 4" (10 cm.) long and 2.5 mm. across; they are greyish green or greyish blue, sparsely hairy or pubescent on both sides (upper & lower), and ascending to widely spreading. The open leaf sheaths are light greyish green, longitudinally veined, and mostly hairless, except toward the apex. The nodes are swollen, light green, and glabrous; the culm is purplish immediately above and below each node. At the junction of each sheath and blade, the ligule consists of a short tuft of curly white hairs. The vegetative characteristics of the female plants are similar to the male plants, except that their culms and leaf blades are much shorter. The culm of each male plant terminates in an inflorescence consisting of 2-3 staminate spikes. The typical staminate spike is about 8-15 mm. (1/32/3") in length and about 4 mm. across. Each of these spikes has about 6-12 spikelets that are arranged in 2 rows on one side of the floral stalk (the spike's central axis). Each staminate spikelet has a pair of glumes at its base and 2-3 lemmas that are arranged side-by-side. One glume is about 3.0 mm. in length, while the remaining glume and lemmas are about 4.04.5 mm. in length. The glumes and lemmas are linear-lanceolate in shape and hairless. They are initially light green, but become light tan at maturity. Disarticulation is above the glumes. The short culm of each female plant terminates in a cluster of 2-3 pistillate spikelets that are joined together at the base. These spikelets are largely hidden by the leaf blades. The outer sides of each pistillate spikelet consist of a glume and a lemma that are joined together at the edges, forming a bur-like structure. They are similar in size and shape; each one becomes swollen and rounded toward the middle and has 3 cleft pointed lobes at its apex. The blooming period usually occurs during early to mid-summer. Each pistillate spikelet of the female plants produces a single large seed. The root system is fibrous and stoloniferous. In open areas, this grass readily spreads by its stolons to form a soft turf.