Grass Family (Poaceae). Marsh bristlegrass is a warm season, weak, rhizomatous perennial. The height ranges from 1 to 3 feet. The leaf blade is flat, about 6 to 10 inches long, 1/4 inch wide, prominent midrib, and upper surface covered with soft hair. The leaf sheath is rounded with generally shorter than average internodes and often purple tinged. The ligule is a fringe of short hair. The seedhead is a spikelike panicle, 1 to 2 inches long, and yellowish in color with each spikelet surrounded by 5 or more yellow or purple bristles.
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