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 annual tufted grass, with flat leaf-blades and spike-like panicles. Spikelets l-flowered; scales 3; the 2 outer empty, minute, the first often wanting; the third scale thin-membranous, keeled. Palet somewhat shorter, 2-keeled. Stamen 1, rarely 2 or 3. Styles short, distinct. Stigmas plumose. Grain oblong, enclosed in the scale and palet, which readily split and allow it to drop out. [In honor of John Constantine Phipps, 1744-1792, Arctic navigator.]
A monotypic genus of the arctic regions.
Agrostis algida Solander, in Phipps' Voy. 200. 1810. Phippsia algida R. Br. Suppl. App. Parry's Voy. 285. 1824.
Smooth and glabrous throughout, culms 1'-5' tall, erect, simple; ligule 1/2" long; blades 1' in length or less, 1/4"-1" wide, obtuse; panicle 1/4'-1 1/2' in length, contracted; branches 1/4'-3/4' long, erect or appressed; spikelets 1/2"-3/4" long; outer scales minute, unequal, acutish, the first often wanting; third scale broad, 1-nerved, obtuse, or sub-truncate and somewhat erose, the palet about two-thirds as long, broad, 2-keeled, erose-truncate.
Arctic and alpine regions of both the Old World and the New. Summer.