Plant loosely tufted; shoots extravaginal. Culms 30–130 cm tall, nodes 2–4. Leaf sheaths glabrous; auricles falcate, glabrous; leaf blades flat or loosely rolled, 10–25 cm × 2–7 mm, glabrous, veins 18–25; adaxial to abaxial sclerenchyma strands present; ligule 0.2–0.5 mm, margin ciliate. Panicle compact except at anthesis, (6–)10–25 cm; branches usually paired, (3.5–)4–6.5 cm, unequal, longer branch with 4–6 spikelets, shorter branch with 1–3 spikelets. Spikelets 8.5–17 mm; florets (2–)4–12; glumes glabrous or scabrid; lower glume (2–)2.6–4(–4.5) mm; upper glume (3–)3.5–5 mm; rachilla internodes scabrid; lemmas (5–)6–8 mm, smooth or scabrid, apex hyaline, acute, rarely awn–tipped; awns 0–2 mm; palea keels scabrid. Anthers (0.5–)2–4.6 mm. Ovary apex glabrous. 2n = 14, 28, 42, 70.
"Tufted, but often with basally decumbent culms; old sheaths brown, decaying to fibers, culms erect above a geniculate base, 3–12 dm, glabrous; sheaths smooth; blades lax, not evidently ridge-veined, glabrous or scabrous, 3–5(–7) mm wide, dilated at base into conspicuous smooth auricles; infl 1–2.5 dm, erect or nodding at the tip, contracted at least after anthesis, the internodes of the branches less than twice as long as the spikelets; spikelets 10–15 mm, 4–10-fld; first glume subulate, 2.5–4 mm, 1-veined, the second lanceolate, 3.5–5 mm, 3–5-veined, with hyaline margins; larger lemmas 5.5–7 mm, usually glabrous, 5-veined, the tip hyaline, acute, rarely with a short awn to 2 mm; rachilla-joints glossy, smooth or very nearly so; anthers 2–4 mm; 2n mostly = 14. Native of Europe, cult. for forage and established in fields, meadows, and moist soil throughout most of the U.S. and adj. Can. (Schedonorus p.)"