Coarse perennial, tufted and sometimes stoloniferous, with erect culms 3-8 dm; lvs 1-3 mm wide, often involute; ligules 1-2.5 mm; infl 5-25 cm, usually narrow, with ascending, smooth to scabrous branches, the lowest all or chiefly naked at base; spikelets 5-12 mm, 5-11-fld; glumes ovate, narrowed to an obtuse tip, the first 2-3.5 mm, the second 2.8-4 mm; lemmas firm, obscurely veined, 3-4.5 mm, tapering to a thin rounded summit, usually hairy toward the base; anthers linear, 1.5-2.5 mm; 2n=14-77, most often 56. Salt-marshes and shores; N.S. to R.I., and occasionally adventive s. to Phila.; Europe.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.