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..
Erianthus contortus Ell. Bot. S. C. & Ga. 1: 40. 1816.
Erianthus saccharoides contortus Hack, in DC Monog. Phan. 6: 131. 1889.
Culms 3°-8° tall; leaf-sheaths smooth or rough, sometimes hirsute at the apex; blades 6-32' long, 2 1/2"-10" wide, smooth or rough; panicle 6'-16' long, 1-2 1/2' wide; spikelets crowded, equalling or exceeding the basal hairs, the outer 2 scales 3 1/2"-4 1/2" long, pilose with long hairs, the fourth scale 2-cleft at the apex, the teeth long and subulate, the awn 7"-12" long, the included portion spiral at the base, the remainder loosely spiral.
In moist soil, Delaware ( ?) and Maryland to Florida and Texas. Sept.-Oct.
Erianthus saccharoides Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1:
Culms robust, erect, 3°-10° tall, barbed at the nodes, the summit and the axis of the panicle densely pubescent with appressed long rigid silky hairs. Sheaths glabrous or sparingly hairy below, densely pubescent at the throat with long more or less spreading silky hairs; blades glabrous or appressed-pubescent, 6'-2° long, 1/4'-1' wide, long-acuminate, somewhat narrowed towards the base; panicle lax, broadly oblong, 5' - 15' long, 2'-4' wide, its branches 2'-4' long, slender; outer scales of the spikelet about 2"-3" long, a little exceeding the pedicel and about one-half as long as the basal hairs, lanceolate, acuminate; inner scales shorter, the awn 10"-12" long, straight, scabrous.
In moist sandy soil, southern New Jersey to Maryland, south to Florida and Texas. Also in Cuba. Aug.-Sept. Gama, or sesame grass.
Erianthus brevibarbis Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 55. 1803.
Erianthus saccharoides sub-sp. brevibarbis Hack, in D. C. Monog. Phan. 6: 131. 1889.
Culms stout, erect, 3°-5° tall, the nodes naked or scantily barbed, the summit and axis of the panicle smooth or scabrous. Sheaths hirsute at the summit; blades rough, 6-18' long, 3"-5" wide, acuminate; panicle linear-oblong, 8-12' in length, l'-l 1/2' wide, the branches erect, 2'-5' long; outer scales of the spikelet 4"-4 1/2" long, twice the length of the pedicel and equalling or twice as long as the basal hairs, lanceolate, long-acuminate; inner scales shorter, the awn 9" - 12" long, straight, scabrous.
In moist soil, Delaware to Florida, thence west to Louisiana. Autumn.