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Annual or short-lived perennial. Culms loosely tufted, ascending or decumbent at base and rooting at lower nodes, 0.2–1 m tall. Leaf sheaths keeled, glabrous; leaf blades flat or folded, 10–40 cm, 4–8 mm wide, glabrous, apex acute; ligule short, ciliate. Racemes digitate, 5–15, erect or ascending, 3–8 cm, often somewhat flexuous and purplish; rachis scabrous. Spikelets with 3 or 4 florets, 3(–4)-awned; lower glume 1.2–1.5 mm; upper glume 1.7–2.5 mm, shortly mucronate; lemma of fertile floret elliptic in side view, 1.7–2.5 mm, pilose on keel, ciliate on upper margins with 1–1.5 mm hairs; awn 4.5–7 mm; upper florets sterile, lemmas empty, inflated, overlapping to form a knob at side of fertile floret; second lemma turbinate, truncate, 1–1.5 mm, glabrous or sparsely appressed-pilose on back, awn subequaling awn of fertile floret; third (and fourth) lemmas orbicular, awn somewhat shorter. Fl. and fr. Apr–May. 2n = 20, 40.


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

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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