Clum: glabrous, erect, simple, sheaths often much shorter than the internodes, sometimes longer. Leaves: smooth beneath, scabrous above. Spike: short, ovoid to oblong, cylindric.
A perennial grass, with flat leaves, and numerous dense, one-flowered spikelets.
Calamagrostis canadensis, or Blue-joint Grass, has flat leaves, and open panicles of a purplish colour. It grows principally in wet meadows.
Poa alpina, or Alpine Spear Grass, has short, pointed leaves, and panicles from one to three inches in length.
Festuca ovina, or Sheep's Fescue Grass, grows in a tufted fashion, and has thread-like leaves growing from the base of the plant, its panicles being often one-sided and flattened. It is abundant in dry meadows, and rocky places.
Bromns Richardsonii, or Fringed Brome Grass, resembles oats, and has wide leaves which are smooth beneath, and rough on the top. The panicle is composed of many branches, each one terminating in spreading or drooping spikelets, with tiny awns.
Hordenm jnbatnm, or Squirrel-tail Grass, is one of the handsomest and most remarkable grasses in mountain regions. The spikelets with their slender, rough awns from an inch to two and a half inches long, resemble barbs, and these awns turn to a warm, rich reddish hue as the summer advances, and present a beautiful appearance as they swing and sway in the wind.
"In the summer of the summer, when the hazy air is sweet With the breath of crimson clover, and the day's a-shine with heat, When the sky is blue and burning and the clouds a downy mass, When the breeze is idly dawdling, there is music in the grass " Just a thistly, whistly sound In the tangles near the ground; And the flitting fairies often stop to listen as they pass; Just a lisping, whisp'ring tune, Like a bumblebee's bassoon, In a far-away fantasia, is the music in the grass.
"Would you know what makes the music? On each slender, quivering blade There are notes and chords and phrases by the bees and crickets played; And the grasshoppers and locusts strive each other to surpass In their brave interpretation of the music in the grass.
"By the roguish breezes tost You might think it would get lost, But the careful fairies guard it, watching closely as they pass. So on every summer day, Sounding faint and far away, Is the mystic, murmuring marvel of the music in the grass."