Plants perennial; cespitose, not rhizomatous. Culms (5)15-75(90)
cm. Sheaths smooth, glabrous; ligules 0.5-2.5 mm, truncate, erose
or ciliolate; blades 3-15(19) cm long, 0.5-2(4.3) mm wide, glabrous or
pubescent. Panicles (1)3.5-14 cm long, 0.4-1 cm wide, linear, spikelike,
unilateral. Spikelets 3-7 mm, subsessile or shortly pedicellate, pedicels
to 1 mm. Sterile spikelets strongly laterally compressed, with 6-11(18)
florets; glumes and lemmas similar, linear-lanceolate, keeled,
keels ciliate, apices acuminate to awned, awns to 1 mm. Fertile spikelets
with 2-5 florets, glumes and lemmas dissimilar; glumes 2.8-5.1 mm long,
0.6-0.9 mm wide, 1-veined, laterally compressed, hyaline, keeled, acute; rachilla
internodes 0.4-0.6 mm; lemmas 3-4.5 mm long, 0.6-1.1 mm wide,dorsally
compressed, membranous to subcoriaceous, not keeled, margins hyaline, cilioliate,
apices obtuse to acute, unawned or awned, awns to 3 mm; anthers 1.8-3
mm. 2n = 14.
Cynosurus cristatus is a European native that is now established in North
America. It grows in a wide range of soils in dry or damp habitats. In Europe
it is used for fodder and pasture, especially for sheep, but in North America
it is regarded as a weedy species. It is self-incompatible.
Densely tufted perennial 3-8 dm; lvs few, 1-3 mm wide; infl slender, long-exsert, 3-10 cm; spikelets subsessile in short-peduncled pairs; lemmas 3-3.5 mm, short-awned;
2n=14. Native of Europe, intr. in fields, roadsides, and waste places nearly throughout our range. C. echinatus L., an annual with lvs 3-9 mm wide and with a subcapitate panicle 1-4 cm, the lemmas with awns 5-10 mm, is adventive in N.Y. and Md. and may be expected elsewhere.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.