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..
Culms 2°-4° tall, erect, simple, smooth, usually stiff. Sheaths overlapping, scabrous, the upper one elongated; ligule 1"-2" long; blades elongated, 6-1 ° in length, 1"-1 1/2" wide, scabrous; panicle 7'-9' long, the branches ascending or erect, somewhat scabrous, the lower 2'-4' in length, spikelet-bearing at the extremities; .spikelets 1 1/4"-1 1/2" long, the outer scales acute, scabrous on the keel; third scale shorter, obtuse, scabrous, occasionally bearing a short awn; palet small or wanting.
Cornucopiae hyemalis Walt. Fl. Car. 73. 1788. Agrostis scabra Willd. Sp. PI. 1: 370. 1798. Agrostis hyemalis B.S.P. Prel. Cat. N. Y. 68. 1888.
Culms 1°-2° tall, erect, slender, simple, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths generally shorter than the internodes; ligule 1"-2" long; blades 2-5' long, 1/2"-1 1/2" wide, usually erect, roughish; panicle 6'-2° long, usually purplish, the capillary scabrous branches ascending, sometimes widely spreading, or often drooping, the lower 3'-6' long, dividing above the middle, the divisions spikelet-bearing at the extremities; spikelets 3/4"-1" long, the outer scales acute, scabrous toward the apex and on the keel; third scale two-thirds the length of the first or equalling it, obtuse, rarely bearing a short awn; palet usually very small.
In dry or moist soil, nearly throughout North America except the extreme north. Tickle-grass. Fly-away, Rough or Rough-leaved Bent-grass. July-Aug.
Agrostis antecedens Bicknell, of eastern Massachusetts, differs in having the spikelets clustered at the ends of the branches.
?Agrostis novae-angliae Tuckerm. Hovey's Mag. 9: 143.
April, 1843. ?Agrostis altissima var. laxa Tuckerm. Am. Journ. Sci.
45: 44. October, 1843. A. oreophila Trin. Mem. Acad. St. Petersb. VI. 62: 323.
Culms 8'-i5' tall, erect, simple, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths longer than the internodes, generally overlapping; ligule 1" long; blades 1'-3 1/2' long, 1" wide or less, erect, usually involute, scabrous; panicle 3 1/2'-7' in length, open, the branches spreading or ascending, dividing at or below the middle, the divisions divergent, the pedicels often appressed; spikelets 1 1/4"-1 1/2" long, the outer scales acute, strongly scabrous on the keel; third scale somewhat shorter, obtuse.
Newfoundland, south to the high" mountains of New England, New York and North Carolina.