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 grasses with flat leaves and contracted panicle. Spikelets 1-flowered. Scales 3; the 2 outer empty, unequal, somewhat acute, membranous; the third scale exceeding the second, subtending a palet and perfect flower, obtuse; palet obtuse, 2-nerved. Stamens 2 or 3. Styles distinct, short. Stigmas plumose. Grain oblong, free, enclosed in the scale and palet. Seed adherent to the pericarp. [Latin, signifying an arctic Agrostis-like grass.]
A genus of 5 or 6 species, inhabiting arctic and subarctic regions. Type species: Colpodium latifolium R. Br.
Colpodium latifolium R. Br. Suppl. App. Parry's Voy.
286. 1824. A. latifolia Griseb. in Ledeb. Fl. Ross. 4: 434. 1853.
Culms 6'-2° tall, erect, or sometimes decumbent at the base, simple, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths shorter than the internodes; ligule 2" long, truncate; blades 1'-7' long, 1" - 4" wide, usually erect, scabrous; panicle 1 1/2'- 8' long, narrow, its branches 1/2'-2' in length, ascending or erect; spikelets 1 1/2"-2" long; outer scales unequal, acutish, the lower about two-thirds to three-fourths the length of the upper; third scale obtuse, exceeding the second, hispid on the keel.
Greenland to Hudson Bay and Alaska. Also in arctic Europe and Asia. Summer.