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Perennial; caespitose. Rootstock evident. Butt sheaths woolly. Culms 70-150 cm long. Lateral branches lacking. Leaf-sheaths without keel; woolly. Ligule a fringe of hairs; 0.2-0.5 mm long. Leaf-blades filiform; flat, or involute; 20-50 cm long; 1-3 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface scabrous; glabrous, or hispid; sparsely hairy.
Inflorescence a panicle. Panicle open; lanceolate; 15-40 cm long; 2-8 cm wide. Primary panicle branches appressed, or ascending; 6-15 cm long. Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets sessile.
Glumes similar; exceeding apex of florets; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate; 12-14 mm long; 1.2-1.5 length of upper glume; membranous; 1 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume surface smooth, or scabrous. Lower glume apex setaceously attenuate. Upper glume lanceolate; 10 mm long; 1.2-1.3 length of adjacent fertile lemma; membranous; 1 -veined. Upper glume lateral veins absent. Upper glume surface smooth, or scabrous. Upper glume apex setaceously attenuate.
Fertile lemma linear; subterete; 8-9 mm long; coriaceous; without keel; 3 -veined. Lemma margins convolute; covering most of palea. Lemma apex awned; 3 -awned. Principal lemma awn spreading, or reflexed; with 15-25 mm long limb; without a column. Lateral lemma awns spreading less than principal; 10-15 mm long; shorter than principal.
North America: north-central USA, northeast USA, south-central USA, and southeast USA.