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 tufted grasses, with flat leaf-blades, and loose open panicles. Spikelets 1-flowered, articulated to the pedicels below the empty scales, the outer 3 scales membranous, the first scale short, the second about as long as the spikelet, the third scale bearing in its axil a much enlarged and inflated papery palet which exceeds in length the fourth scale, the fourth scale indurated in fruit and enclosing a palet of similar texture and a perfect flower. Stamens 3. Styles long, united only at the base. Stigmas plumose. [Derivation unknown.]
Species 2. Type species: Panicum hians Ell.
Glabrous, culms erect, 1°-2 1/2° tall, generally simple, sometimes creeping at base, smooth. Blades 3-5' long, l"-3" wide, acuminate, generally erect; panicle 3'-8' long; branches few, generally spreading, the longer ones often drooping, the lower naked below the middle; spikelets about 1" long; fourth scale exceeded by the third and its usually empty palet which is much enlarged, generally forcing the spikelet wide open.