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..
Perennial tufted grasses with flat leaves and spicate or paniculate inflorescence. Spike lets 1-flowered. Scales 3; the 2 outer empty, somewhat unequal, membranous, acute, ciliate keeled; the third scale similar, a little longer; palet shorter, hyaline, 2-nerved. Stamens 3 Styles distinct. Stigmas plumose. Grain oblong, free, loosely enclosed in the scale. [Greek signifying meadow-grass.]
About 8 species, chiefly natives of the Mediterranean region, one or two also widely distribute! through middle Europe and Asia. Type species: Heleochloa alopecuroides Host.
Phleum schoenoides L. Sp. PI. 60. 1753.
Crypsis schoenoides Lam. Tabl. Encyl. 1: 166. pl. 42. 1791.
Heleochloa schoenoides Host, Gram. 1: 23. pl. 30. 1801.
Glabrous, culms 4'-18' tall, erect or sometimes decumbent at the base, branched, smooth. Sheaths about half the length of the internodes, the upper loose, the one immediately below the spike inflated and usually partially enclosing it; ligule a ring of short hairs; leaves l'-3' long, 1"-2" wide, flat, acuminate, smooth beneath, scabrous above; spikelets 1 1/4" long, the empty scales acute, compressed, ciliate-keeled, 1-nerved, the lower shorter than the upper; third scale equalling or longer than the second, acute, compressed, ciliate-keeled, otherwise glabrous, 1-nerved; palet shorter, obtuse.
In waste places, southern New York to Delaware and Pennsylvania. Naturalized from Europe. July-Aug.