Slender erect grasses, with flat leaf-blades and a usually contracted nodding panicle. Spikelets 2-4-flowered, flattened, the rachilla hirsute and extending beyond the flowers. Two lower scales empty, somewhat shorter than the flowering scales, thin-membranous, acute, keeled; flowering scales membranous, obscurely nerved, entire, sometimes short-awned just below the apex. Stamens 3. Styles distinct. Stigmas plumose. Grain glabrous. [Greek, pencil-bearing, referring to the tuft of hairs at the end of the rachilla.]

Three or four species, natives of northern North America. Type species: Aira melicoides Michx.

I. Graphephorum Melicoideum (Michx.) Beauv. Graphephorum

Fig. 631

Aira melicoides Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 62. 1803. Graphephorum melicoideum Beauv. Agrost. 164. pl. 15.

f. 8. 1812. Dupontia Cooleyi A. Gray, Man. Ed. 2, 556. 1852. Graphephorum melicoides var. major A. Gray, Ann.

Bot. Soc. Can. 1: 57. 1861.

Culms 1°-2 1/2° tall, erect, simple, rough just below the panicle. Sheaths usually shorter than the inter-nodes, smooth, or the lower often villous; ligule 1" long or less, truncate; blades 1 1/2'-9' long, 1-2" wide, long-acuminate, rough; panicle 2'-6' in length, the top usually nodding, the branches erect, 1-2 long; spikelets 2-4-flowered, 2V-3" long; scales scabrous on the keel, the empty ones unequal, the first 1-nerved or obscurely 3-nerved, shorter than the 3-nerved second; flowering scales 3-5-nerved, acute.

In wet soil, Anticosti Island to Ontario, south to Maine, Vermont and Michigan. Aug.-Sept.

I Graphephorum Melicoideum Michx Beauv Graphephoru 631