"Slender, decumbent to erect annual 1–6 dm, glabrous or hairy; blades flat or involute, setaceous, 0.5–1 mm wide; infl slender, 3–20 cm, with a few ascending or rarely spreading branches; spikelets flattened, with 5–11+ fls; first glume subulate, 1- veined, 1.7–4.5 mm, the second lanceolate, 3-veined, a fourth longer; florets closely imbricate, the internodes of the rachilla typically 0.5–0.7 mm; lemmas involute, straight, obscurely veined, glabrous or merely scabrous in our vars., soon diverging and exposing the rachilla, the lowest one 2.7–6.5 mm, with an awn 0.3–6(–9) mm; anther 1(–3), 0.3–1.5 mm; grains mostly 1.7–3.3 mm; 2n=14. Dry or sterile soil; Que. and N. Engl. to B.C., s. to Fla. and Calif. (Festuca o.) Two ill-defined vars. in our range: In the mostly southern var. octoflora the spikelets are 5.5–10 mm, and the awn of the lowest lemma is 0.3–3 mm. In the mostly more northern var. glauca (Nutt.) Fernald the spikelets are 4–5.5 mm, and the awn of the lowest lemma is 2.5–6+ mm."