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 perennial grass, with long narrow leaf-blades and an ample panicle. Spikelets 1-3-flowered, the flowers all perfect. Empty scales 2, about equal, shorter than the spikelet, 1-nerved; flowering scales membranous, 3-nerved, with a ring of hairs at the base. Palet 2-nerved, shorter than the scale. Stamens 3. Styles long, distinct. Stigmas short, plumose. Grain oblong, free. [In honor of John H. Redfield, 1815-1895, American naturalist.]
Culms 1 1/2°-4° tall, erect from a long horizontal rootstock, simple, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths smooth, the lower short and overlapping, often crowded, the upper much longer; ligule a ring of short hairs; blades 1°-2° long, 1"-2" wide, involute; panicle ample and diffuse, 8-22' in length, the branches finally widely spreading, flexuous, the lower 3'-8' long; spikelets about 3" long, 1-3-flow-ered, the empty scales acute, glabrous; flowering scales with a ring of hairs at the base, minutely scabrous, twice the length of the empty ones, acute, the middle nerve usually excurrent as a short point.