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 low perennial tufted grass, with setaceous rigid leaf-blades and a terminal one-sided slender spike. Spikelets 1-flowered, narrow, sessile and single in each notch of the rachis. Scales 2, the lower empty, adnate to the rachis, or almost wanting, the upper flower-bearing, narrow, with involute and hyaline margins; palet narrow, 2-nerved. Stamens 3. Style elongated, undivided. Stigma elongated, short-papillose. Grain linear, glabrous, enclosed in the scale, usually free. [Greek name of spikenard, of uncertain application.]
A monotypic genus of the Old World. Type species: Nardus stricta L.
Nardus stricta L. Sp. PI. 53. 1753.
Culms 5'-15' tall, erect, simple, rigid, roughish. Sheaths usually at the base of the culm; ligule i" long, rounded; blades setaceous, stiff, rough, the 1 or 2 culm leaves about 1' long, erect, the basal ones numerous, 2'-5' long; spike 1'-3' in length, strict; spikelets 1-flowered, 3"-4" long, arranged alternately in 2 rows on one side of the erect slender rachis, often purplish; lower scale empty, very short, adnate to the rachis, sometimes almost wanting; flowering scale 3"- 4" long, scabrous, long-acuminate or short-awned.
Introduced into Newfoundland and at Amherst, Mass. Adventive from Europe. Black Bent. Mat. Reed-grass. July-Aug.