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..
Tall aquatic or marsh grasses, with flat leaf-blades and ample panicles. Spikelets 2-4-flowered, the flowers perfect. Two lower scales empty, thin-membranous, 3-5-nerved; flowering scales rigid, with a tuft of hairs at the base, rounded on the back, 5-7-nerved, some of the nerves usually excurrent as short points; palets about equalling the scales, 2-nerved. Stamens 3. Styles very short. Stigmas plumose. Grain hairy at the apex. [Greek, referring to the prickle-like projecting nerves of the flowering scales.]
Arundo festucacea Willd. Enum. 1: 126. 1809.
Culms 3°-5° tall, erect, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths often overlapping; ligule 1"-2" long; blades 7'-1° long or more, 2"-4" wide, flat, scabrous on the margins; panicle 8'-12' in length, usually open, the branches ascending, naked at the base, the lower 3'-4' long; spikelets 3"-4" long; empty basal scales acute, the first shorter than the second; flowering scales scabrous, 7-nerved.
Wet places, Iowa and Nebraska, north to Manitoba and Saskatchewan. July-Aug.