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..
Agrostis alba L. Sp. PI. 63. 1753.
Agrostis vulgaris With. Bot. Arr. Brit. PI. Ed.
3, 132. 1796. A. alba var. aristata A. Gray, Man. 578. 1848. Agrostis alba var. vulgaris Thurber in A. Gray,
Man. Ed. 6, 647. 1890.
Culms 8- 2 1/20 tall, erect or decumbent at the base, often stoloniferous, simple, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths usually shorter than the internodes, often crowded at the base of the culm; ligule 4" long or less; blades 2'-8' long, 1"-3" wide, scabrous; panicle 2'-9' in length, contracted or open, green or purplish, the branches ascending or erect, the lower 1'-3' long; spikelets 1"-1 1/4" long; outer scales about equal, acute, smooth and glabrous, except on the hispid or scabrous keel; third scale shorter, rarely awned near the base, the palet at least one-third its length.
Fields and meadows nearly throughout North America, extensively cultivated for fodder. Naturalized from Europe, and perhaps also native northward. White-top; White, Marsh or Creeping Bent; Black Quitch, Tussocks, Water Twitch, Fine John; Monkey's, Burden's or Summer Dew-grass; Conch or Bonnet-grass. July-Sept.
A. maritima Lam. Encycl. 1: 61. 1783.
Agrostis coarctata Ehrh.; Hoffm. Deutsch. Fl. Ed. 2,
1: 37. 1800. A. alba maritima Meyer, Chloris Hanov. 656. 1836.
Glabrous. Culms tufted, erect, or decumbent at the base and often rooting at the lower nodes, smooth, 12'-20' tall, at length branching; sheaths shorter than the internodes; ligule scarious, 1/2"-1" long; blades erect, rough on both surfaces, 1 1/2'-3 1/2' long, 1 1/2" or less wide; panicle dense and contracted, 1 1/2'-4' long, 1/4'-1/2' thick, its branches erect, the longer 1 1/4' long or less; spikelets numerous, crowded, acute at both ends and lanceolate when closed, 1"- 1 1/4" long, on shorter hispidulous pedicels which are much thickened at the apex; empty scales acute, hispidulous on the upper part of the keel, especially in the first scale; flowering scale hyaline, about three-quarters as long as the spikelet, denticulate at the truncate or rounded apex; palet about one-half as long as the scale.
Wet sands or brackish marshes along the coast, Maine and Quebec to Delaware. Also in Europe. July-Sept.
Culms 1 -3 tall, erect, or sometimes decumbent at the base, simple, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths usually shorter than the internodes, smooth or roughish; ligule 1"-3 1/2" long, more or less decurrent; blades 1'-8' long, 1"- 4" wide, generally erect, flat or involute, scabrous; panicle contracted, 2 1/2'-10' in length, often interrupted or glomerate, the branches I 1/2'-3' in length, erect, spike-let-bearing to the base; spikelets crowded, 1"-1 1/4" long, the outer scales subequal, ' scabrous, especially on the keel; third scale about three-fourths the length of the second, obtuse or subacute; palet minute.
Manitoba to Washington, south to western Texas and California. Northern Red-top. Aug.-Sept.