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..
A tall grass with flat leaves and a narrow panicle. Spikelets 1-flowered, narrow, the rachilla produced beyond the flower and sometimes bearing a minute scale at the summit. Scales 3; the outer small and inconspicuous, the lower often wanting; the third much longer, rigid, 5-nerved, acuminate into a long awn; palet scarcely shorter, rigid, sulcate on the back, 2-nerved. Stamens 2. Styles short, distinct. Stigmas plumose, elongated. Grain oblong, free, enclosed in the scale and palet. [Greek, in allusion to the minute outer scales.]
A monotypic genus of eastern North America.
Muhlenbergia erecta Schreb. Besch. Gras. 2: 139. pl.
Ed. 5, 614. 1867.
Culms 1°-3° tall, erect, slender, simple, smooth or rough, pubescent at and near the nodes. Sheaths shorter than the internodes, scabrous toward the apex, more or less villous especially at the throat; igule about 3/4" long, irregularly truncate; leaves 2'-5' long, 3"-9" wide, acuminate at both ends, scabrous; panicle 2'-6' in length, slender, branches 1-3' long, erect or appressed; outer scales of the spikelet unequal, the upper less than one-third as long as the flowering scale, the lower minute or wanting; third scale, exclusive of the awn, 4i"-6" long, 5-nerved, scabrous, especially on the midnerve, the awn erect, 9"-12" long; rachilla produced beyond the flower about half the length of the third scale and lying in the groove of the palet.
Moist places, Newfoundland to Minnesota, south to Georgia and Kansas. Ascends to 5000 ft. in North Carolina. July-Aug.