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..
Low diffusely branched grasses, with flat pungently pointed leaf-blades crowded at the nodes and the ends of the branches. Spikelets in clusters of 3-6, nearly sessile in the axils of the floral leaves, 2-5-flowered, the flowers perfect. Two lower scales empty, lanceolate, acute, 1-nerved, hyaline; flowering scales larger, 3-nerved; 1 or 2 empty scales sometimes present above the flowering ones; palet hyaline. Stamens 3. Styles distinct, elongated. Stigmas barbellate or short-plumose. Grain free, enclosed in the scale and palet. [In honor of Gen. William Munro, English agrostologist.]
Crypsis squarrosa Nutt. Gen. 1: 49. 1818.
M. squarrosa Torr. Pac. R. R. Rept. 4: 158. 1856.
Culms 2'-8' long, tufted, erect, decumbent or prostrate, much branched, smooth or rough. Sheaths short, crowded at the nodes and ends of the branches, smooth, pilose at the base and throat, sometimes ciliate on the margins; ligule a ring of hairs; blades 1' long or less, 1/2"-1" wide, rigid, spreading, scabrous, pungently-pointed; spikelets 2-5-flowered, the flowers perfect; empty scales 1-nerved, shorter than the flowering scales which are about 2 1/2" long, 3-toothed, the nerves excurrent as short points or awns, tufts of hairs near the middle; palets obtuse.
On dry plains, Saskatchewan to Nebraska and northern Mexico. Aug.-Oct.