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..
Smooth and glabrous, culms 4'-12' tall, erect, simple. Sheaths usually overlapping; ligule 1" long; blades 1/2'-2 1/2' long, 1" wide or less; panicle 1'-2' in length, contracted, the branches short and erect or appressed; spikelets 2-7-flowered, 3"-4" long; empty scales obtuse or rounded at the apex, the first 1-nerved, the second 3-nerved; flowering scales 1 1/4"-1 1/2" long, usually purplish, rounded at the apex.
Greenland and Hudson Bay to Alaska, south to Connecticut. Also in Europe and Asia. Summer.
Poa distans L. Mant. 32. 1767.
Glyceria distans Wahl. Fl. Ups. 36. 1820.
Puccinellia distans Parl. Fl. Ital. 1: 367. 1848.
Culms 1 -2 tall, decumbent at the base, tufted, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths often shorter than the internodes, smooth and glabrous; ligule 1/2"-1" long; blades up to 4' long, l"-2 wide, flat or folded, usually stiff and erect, smooth beneath; panicle 3'-7' in length, open, the branches finally spreading, whorled, the lower up to 4 1/2' long, sometimes reflexed, naked below; spikelets crowded, 3-6-flowered, 1 1/2"-2 1/2" long; empty scales obtuse or acute, 1-nerved, the second exceeding the first and less than half the length of the first flowering scale, the truncate flowering scales 3/4"-1" long.
Poa fasciculata Torr. Fl. U. S. 1: 107. 1824.
P. fasciculata Bicknell, Bull. Torr. Club 35: 197. 1908.
Culms 1°-2° tall; sheaths smooth and glabrous; ligule about 1/2" long, truncate; blades erect, up to 5' long, 1 1/2"-3" wide, smooth beneath, rough above; panicle 3'-5' long, its branches spikelet-bearing to the base, usually ascending; spikelets about 2" long, the empty scales obtuse or acute, the second one less than one-half as long as the first flowering scale, the flowering scales 1"-1 1/4" long, obtuse or acutish, glabrous or nearly so.
Salt marshes, Nantucket to New Jersey. May and June.
Poa airoides Nutt. Gen. 1: 68. 1818.
Panicularia distans airoides Scribn. Mem. Torr. Club
5: 54. 1894. Puccinellia airoides Wats. & Coult. in A. Gray, Man. Ed.
6, 668. 1890.
Culms 1°-4° tall, erect, simple, smooth and glabrous. Sheaths usually longer than the internodes; ligule 1" long; blades 2'-6' long, 1 1/2" wide or less, flat or involute, usually erect, smooth beneath, rough above; panicle open, its branches slender, spreading or ascending, rarely erect, the lower 2'-3 1/2' long and often reflexed; spikelets scattered, 1-7-flow-ered, 1 1/2"-3" long; empty scales unequal, the first acute, 1-nerved, the second obtuse or acute, 3-nerved, more than half the length of the obtuse flowering scales, which are 1"-1 1/4" long.
In saline soil, southwestern Ontario to the Northwest Territory, south to Kansas and Nevada. July-Aug. Puccinellia Borreri (Bab.) Hitchc. is reported as growing on ballast and in waste places from Delaware to Nova Scotia. It is related to P. fasciculata (Torr.) Bicknell.