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Perennial forming large tussocks, often with short rhizomes. Culms robust, decumbent and rooting at the base, ascending to 2–4 m tall. Leaf sheaths glabrous or hispid; leaf blades linear, up to 120 × 5 cm, abaxial surface glabrous, adaxial surface hispid or papillose-pilose at base, midrib prominent, margins scabrous; ligule 1.5–5 mm. Inflorescence linear, 10–30 × 1–3 cm, golden, brownish or purplish; axis densely pilose, closely beset with small peduncle stumps; involucre comprising many slender bristles, enclosing 1–5 spikelets, terminal spikelet fertile, subsessile, laterals when present staminate with 1–2 mm pedicels; inner bristles thinly plumose, longest 1–4 cm. Spikelets 5–7 mm; lower glume vestigial or absent; upper glume 1/4–1/2 as long as spikelet, acute; lower floret staminate or neuter, lemma 1/2–3/4 spikelet length, 5–7-veined, minutely hispidulous, acuminate; upper lemma membranous and obviously 5-veined toward narrowly acuminate tip, lower half cartilaginous, smooth and shiny; anthers with a tuft of short hairs at tip. Fl. and fr. Aug–Oct. 2n = 27, 28.


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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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