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..
Tufted grasses, with flat or involute leaf-blades, and a terminal dense spike with the rachis articulated and readily breaking up. Spikelets numerous, in 2's or 3's at each node, 2-5-flowered; empty scales entire or divided, the divisions extending often to the base, the scales or their divisions bearing long slender awns; palet 2-keeled. Stamens 3. Styles' distinct, short. Stigmas plumose. Grain adherent to the palet. [Greek, a kind of food.]
Sitanion elymoides Raf. Journ. Phys. 89: 103. 1819. Elymus Sitanion Schultes, Mant. 2: 426. 1824. Elymus elymoides Swezey, Neb. Fl. PI. 15. 1891. S". brevifolium J. G. Smith, Bull. U. S. Dep. Agr. Agrost.
18: 17. 1899. S. longifolium J. G. Smith, Bull. U. S. Dep. Agr. Agrost.
18: 18. 1899.
Culms 1°-2° tall, erect. Sheaths smooth or rough, sometimes hirsute, usually overlapping, the upper one often inflated and enclosing the base of the spike; blades 2'-7' long, 1/2'-2" wide, often stiff and erect, usually rough, sometimes hirsute, flat or involute; spike 2'-6' in length; spikelets 1-5-flowered; empty scales entire, awl-shaped; flowering scales 4"-5" long, 5-nerved, scabrous, bearing a long slender divergent awn 1 1/2'- 3,' in length, the apex of the scale sometimes 2-toothed.
In dry soil, Wyoming to western Missouri, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. July-Aug.