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 or involute leaf-blades and contracted or open panicles. Spikelets 3-several-flowered. Lower scales empty, obtuse or acute, unequal; flowering scales obtuse or acute, rounded on the back, 5-nerved, the nerves very obscure or almost wanting. Palet about equalling the scale. Stamens 3. Styles wanting. Stigmas sessile, simply plumose. Grain compressed, usually adhering to the palet. [Name in honor of Benedetto Purcinelli, Italian botanist.]
About 14 species, in all temperate regions. Type species: Poa distans L.
Flowering scales 1 1/4" long or more; plants stoloniferous.
Lower flowering scales 1 1/2"-2" long; spikelets commonly 4-many-flowered.
Lower flowering scales not exceeding 1 1/2" long, usually less; spikelets generally 2-4-flowered.
Flowering scales less than 1 1/4" long; plants without stolons.
Second empty scale less than one-half as long as the first flowering scale, broad, usually obtuse or truncate.
Panicle-branches naked below, spikelet-bearing toward the apex; flowering scales 1" long or
less, truncate at the apex.
Panicle-branches spikelet-bearing to the base; flowering scales 1"-1 1/4" long, acutish or
obtuse at the apex.
Second empty scale more than one-half as long as the first flowering scale, usually narrow, obtuse
1. Puccinellia maritima (Huds.) Parl.
Poa maritima Huds. Fl. Angl. 35. 1762. Glyccria maritima M. & K. Deutsch. Fl. 1: 588.
1823. Puccinellia maritima Parl. Fl. Ital. 1: 370. 1848.
Stoloniferous, smooth, glabrous, culms 6'-2° tall, erect, or decumbent at the base, simple. Sheaths usually exceeding the internodes; ligule 1/2"-1" long; blades 1/2'-5' long, 1" wide or less, flat to involute; panicle 2'-6' in length, open, the branches ascending, or rarely erect, 1'-2' long; spikelets 3-10-flowered, 3"-6" long; empty scales unequal, the first usually 1-nerved, the second 3-nerved; flowering scales 1 1/2"-2" long, broad, obtuse or truncate.