Perennial, 10-60 cm tall with erect culms growing from a dense tuft of short basal foliage. The blades are short, soft, flat, folded or involute, with ligule acute and prominent. The sheaths are rounded, glabrous and persistent. The inflorescence is a panicle, 2-10 cm long and narrow, yellowish-green to purple on colour, not densely flowered, with branches that are short and appressed becoming somewhat spreading during the flowering period. Spikelets are two to five flowered, 4-6 mm long, terate and acute. The glumes are unequal, papery; the first glume is one to three nerved and 2-5 mm long, the second glume is three nerved and 3-4 mm long. Lemmas are minutely scabrous and crisp-pubescent near the base. Awns are absent (Hitchcock, 1971). Photo by Toni Corelli.
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Densely tufted perennial grass, 5-4 cm tall. Leaves mainly basal, hairy below with the ligule a long fringe of hairs. Inflorescence a dense panicle with few spikelets. Spikelets with two or more florets and glumes about as long as the spikelet. Lemmas hairy at base and edges, with a twisted awn (up to 1 cm long) originating from below their tip (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1998).
Tufted perennial; stems often bent at base; 40-120 cm tall. Leaves flat, lax, 5-12 mm wide, with thin, prominent tips; no auricles; ligules 1.5-3 mm long. Inflorescence an open, loose nodding panicle, 10-30 cm long; second glume longer and much wider than the first, with a sharp tip; lemmas 5-6 mm long with a long bent awn from just above the middle and callus hairs about 1 mm long (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994).
Densely tufted perennial grass, from fibrous roots, stems articulating at the nodes, (7) 10-70 (100) cm tall. Leaves mainly basal, soft-hairy to smooth, curled wit age, ligules less than 1 mm long, fringed with short hairs. Inflorescence a narrow panicle with 5-10 (18) spikelets, the lower branches with 2 or 3 spikelets, these with stalks shorter than the spikelets; spikelets 7-15 mm long; lemmas (2.5) 3-4 (5) mm long, soft-hairy, or sometimes smooth over the back, the apical teeth pointed to stiff-awned, 0.5-2 mm long, also awned from the back, the awns abruptly bent, 5-8 mm long, the calluses about as long as wide, with stiff hairs laterally; anthers to 2 mm long. Reproduction is by seed and layering. Flowers that can cross-fertilize are in the aerial panicle, self-fertilized flowers are contained within the leaf sheath. (Douglas et al 2001; Darbyshire and Cayquette, 1989; Grelen and Hughes, 1984)
Perennial, densely tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems 30-100 cm tall, with visible nodes. Leaves: Sheaths conspicuous at the base of the stems, persisting for more than one year, remaining entire, not shredding into fibres; blades (5) 8-25 (35) cm long (adjacent plants may have conspicuously longer or shorter leaves), 0.75-1.2 mm wide, egg-shaped in cross-section near the midleaves, with four to seven nerves; ligules 0.1-0.6 mm long. Flowers: Inflorescence an open panicle, 7-11 cm long, the branches (1.5) 3-7 cm long; spikelets (two) three to seven (nine)-flowered, (5.8) 7.5-17 (19) mm long; lower glumes 2-5 (6) mm long, the upper ones (3) 4-8 mm long; lemmas (5) 6-8 (10) mm long, awned, the awns 2-6 (7) mm long; rachillas zig-zag, visible between the florets; anthers (2.5) 3.2-4 (4.5) mm long; ovary tops smooth (from Douglas, et al). Photo by Dave Polster.
Tolerant of a wide range of conditions, the attractive feathery appearance of this grass makes it a good choice for borders and banks. Photo by Toni Corelli.
Tufted perennial; stems yellowish-green, leafy towards base, spreading, usually velvety-hairy, 15-40 cm tall. Leaves flat, firm, erect to ascending, hairy, 5-10 mm wide, no auricles; ligules 3-4 mm long, consisting of long hairs. Inflorescence a panicle, open, 3-9 cm long; spikelets up to 2 mm long, short-hairy, two flowered, the lower flower sterile; glumes unequal in size; fertile lemmas hardened (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994). Photo by Keir Morse.
Perennial, bluish, tufted grass from fibrous roots or short rhizomes; stems 30-180 cm tall, erect or slightly decumbent at the base, the nodes exposed and often covered with dense short hairs. Leaves: Sheaths smooth to rough, white-hairy close to the base, often purplish at the stem base; blades 4-13 mm wide, lax, flat or slightly in-rolled, bluish-green, rough on the nerves, sometimes hairy, ear-shaped lobes present at the leaf-bases, up to 2.5 mm long, often purple; ligules up to 1 mm long, entire or ragged. Flowers: Inflorescence spikelike, 5-21 cm long, 0.5-2 cm wide, erect to slightly nodding, rarely pendent, (one) two to three spikelets per node; spikelets 8-25 mm long, purplish, with bases often overlapping, with two to four (six) fertile florets; glumes 9-14 mm long, unawned or awned, the awns 1-5 mm long; lemmas 9-14 mm long, smooth to short hairy at least on the nerves, the awns 1-25 mm long, straight to slightly curving; anthers 1.5-3.5 mm long (Douglas et al., 2001). Notes: Lemmas awnless or awned, the awns less than 5 mm long = ssp. virescens (Piper) Gould. Lemmas awned, the awns greater than 5 mm = ssp. glaucus. Photo by Dave Polster.
Can be invasive/aggressive but is effective and attractive as a single drift at the back of a border. Good all-season character. Do not over-fertilize in a landscape setting or the plant will become over-aggressive and control may be required. Photo by Toni Corelli.
Perennial grass, 0.5 to 1.5 m tall forming small clumps. Leaves broad and flat with rough surfaces and slightly rolled in edges, claw-like, clasping auricles and short (1 mm) collar-like ligules. Inflorescence flexible drooping spike with two stalkless spikelets at each node. Spikelets with two or more florets. Lemmas fringed with long hairs with awns up to 2 cm long. Often hybridizes with E. glaucus (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1998).