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..
Aristida dichotoma Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 41. 1803.
Culms 6'-2° tall, erect, slender,, dichotomously branched, smooth or roughened. Sheaths much shorter than the internodes, loose, smooth and glabrous; ligule very short, ciliate; blades 1' - 3' long, less than 1" wide, involute, acuminate, usually scabrous; spike-like racemes or panicles 2-5' long, slender; spikelets about 3" long; outer scales nearly equal or the lower somewhat shorter, usually awn-pointed; third scale shorter than the second, the middle awn horizontal, coiled at base, the terminal straight portion 2"-3" long, the lateral awns 1" long or less, erect
Dry sandy soil, Maine to Nebraska, south to Georgia and Texas. Aug.-Sept.
A. dichotoma var. Curtissii A. Gray, Man. Ed. 6, 640.
1890. Aristida Curtissii Nash, in Britt. Man. 94. 1901.
Culms tufted, 8-20' tall, branched; blades 1/2'-6' long, \"-\" wide, sometimes sparsely pilose above near the base; panicle 2'-4' long, the branches erect; spikelets commonly 5"-6" long, rarely longer, the first scale much shorter than the second which usually about equals the body of the flowering scale, rarely somewhat exceeding it, the flowering scale 3 1/2"-5 1/2" long, the lateral awns very short, 1/2"-1" long, straight and erect, usually less than \ as long as the central awn which has the straight portion 2 1/2"- 4" long.
In dry soil, Missouri and Kansas to Oklahoma; also in Virginia. Sept.-Oct.
Aristida basiramea Engelm.; Vasey, Coult. Bot. Gaz. 9: 76. 1884.
Glabrous and smooth, culms 6'-18' tall, erect, slender, much branched. Sheaths shorter than the internodes, loose; ligule very short, ciliate; blades 2'-6' long, about 1" wide, involute-setaceous; spike-like panicle 3-5' long; first scale of spikelet half to three-quarters as long as the second, which is 5"-7" in length, both awn-pointed; third scale shorter than the second; middle awn 6"-9" long, coiled at base, horizontal, lateral awns one-quarter to one-half as long, erect or divergent, somewhat spiral at the base.
In dry fields, Illinois to Minnesota and Nebraska. July-Sept.
A. ramosissima Engelm.; A. Gray, Man. Ed. 5, 618. 1867.
Aristida ramosissima var. uniaristata A. Gray, Man. Ed. 5. 618. 1867.
Glabrous, culms 6'-2° tall, erect, slender, branched, smooth. Sheaths much shorter than the internodes, loose; ligule very short; blades 1 1/2'-3' long, 1" wide or less, flat, attenuate into a long point, smooth beneath, scabrous above; spikelets few, borne in loose spikes from 2'-4' in length; first scale awn-pointed; second scale 8"-10" in length, exceeding the first, terminated with an awn 1"-3" long; third scale as long as the second; middle awn about 1' long, horizontal or re-flexed and forming a hook, the lateral awns erect, 1"-2" long, rarely wanting.
In dry soil, Indiana to Missouri and Tennessee. July-Sept.