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..
Elymus canadensis L. Sp. PL 83. 1753.
Elymus canadensis var. glancifolius Torr. Fl. U. S. I:
Agric. 4: 37. 1897.
Culms 2 1/2°-5° tall, erect, simple, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths usually overlapping; ligule very short; blades 4'-1° long or more, 2"-10" wide, rough, sometimes glaucous; spike 4'-i2' in length, broad, stout, often nodding, its peduncle much ex-serted; spikelets divergent from the rachis, 3-5-flowered; empty scales narrowly lanceolate, rigid, 3-5-nerved, 8"-16" long, including the long slender rough awns; flowering scales 4"-7" long, hirsute, bearing a slender scabrous straight or divergent awn 10"-25" in length.
On river banks, Nova Scotia to Alberta and Washington, south to New Jersey, West Virginia, Missouri and Arizona. Ascends to 2100 ft. in Virginia. July-Aug.
Elymus brachystachys Scribn. & Ball, Bull. U. S. Dep. Agr. Agrost. 24: 47. f. 21. 1901.
Culms 1°-3° tall, erect; sheaths glabrous; blades up to 8' long, 3"-6" wide, rough, or sometimes smooth below; spike 3'-6' long, 1'- 1 1 /2' in diameter, long-exsertcd; spikelets 3-5-flowered, in pairs, the empty scales hispidulous, flat, narrowly lanceolate, 3-5-nerved, attenuate into a hispidulous awn about three times their length, the flowering scales glabrous or hispidulous, bearing an awn 10"-20" long.
Moist grounds, Maryland to Michigan, South Dakota, Texas and Mexico. July and Aug. Figured in our first edition as E. canadensis L. from which it is now distinguished.
Culms 2°-3° tall, erect, slender, simple, smooth, glabrous. Sheaths usually shorter than the inter-nodes, glabrous or hirsute; ligule very short; leaves 5'-9' long, 2"-5" wide, smooth or slightly rough beneath, pubescent above; spike 21 /2'- 4 1/2' in length, broad, slender, dense; spikelets -divergent from the rachis, 1-3-flowered; empty scales awl-shaped. 9"-12" long, including the slender rough awn, 1-3-nerved, hirsute; flowering scales about 3" long, hirsute, bearing a slender rough awn 8" - 15" in length.
In woods and on banks. Maine to North Dakota, North Carolina and Texas. Spike often nodding. June-July.