Culms ±clustered, erect or ascending, 1-3 dm at first anthesis, soon elongating to as much as 6 dm, evidently papillose-pilose with spreading or retrorse hairs 1-5 mm, as also the sheaths; ligule a band of hairs 3-5 mm; blades 3-10 cm נ3-13 mm, ±papillose-pilose on both sides; primary panicle on a papillose-hairy to glabrate peduncle, 2-6 cm, ovoid, with widely divergent branches, its axis pilose to glabrate; spikelets finely hairy, ellipsoid or oblong-obovoid, 1.5-2.5 mm; first glume triangular- ovate, acute, 0.7-1.4 mm, a third to three-fifths as long as the spikelet; fr 1.5-2 mm, half or two-thirds as wide; autumnal phase developing early, the lateral branches and often the secondary panicles visible before the primary panicle has completed anthesis; branches several from the middle and lower nodes, the stems widely spreading or prostrate and often geniculate at the lower nodes, the scarcely reduced lvs equaling or surpassing the small panicles; 2n=18. Dry, especially sandy soil, open woods, and prairies; Mass. to Minn. and Kans., s. to Fla. and Tex. (P. benneri; P. praecocius; P. pseudopubescens; P. scoparioides, a less hairy or subglabrate phase, perhaps of hybrid origin; P. subvillosum; Dichanthelium acuminatum var. villosum)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.