This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Perennial grasses with flat leaf-blades and terminal contracted panicles. Spikelets numerous, 1-flowered, articulated to the pedicels below the empty scales, readily deciduous when mature. Scales 4, the outer 3 membranous, the first scale small, the second one much larger than the rest, many-nerved, strongly saccate at the base, the fourth scale much shorter than the third, chartaceous, enclosing a palet of similar texture and a perfect flower. Stamens 3. Styles distinct. Stigmas plumose. Grain free. [Greek, in reference to the large saccate scale of the spikelet.]
Species 6 or 7, in both the Old World and the New. Type species: Panicum gibbum Ell.
Holcus strialits L. Sp. PI. 1048. 1753-Panicum striatum Lam. 111. 1: 172. 1791-Panicum gibbum Ell. Bot. S. C. & Ga. 1: 116. 1817. Sacciolepis gibba Nash, in Britt. Man. 89. 1901. S. striata Nash, Bull. Torr. Club, 30: 383.. 1903.
Culms erect from a creeping base, 2°-6° tall, dichotomously branched below. Lower sheaths densely hirsute, the upper generally glabrous; blades 3'-7' long, 2"-10" wide, usually spreading, more of less pubescent; panicle 3'-9' long, dense and contracted; branches 1/2'-1' long, erect; spikelets 1 1/2"-2" long, elliptic, somewhat acute; first scale about one-quarter as long as the spikelet; second scale gibbous at base, 11-nerved; third scale about equalling the second, 7-nerved, empty, the fourth one shorter than the second.