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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

63. Poaceae, the Grass Family

4. Beckmannia Host

1. Beckmannia syzigachne (Steud.) Fern. -- Western sloughgrass


Stout annual or shortlived perennial 3-10 dm tall; culms solitary or few to several clumped. Leaf blades soft, flat, 3-10(13) mm wide, scaberulous; sheaths overlapping, glabrous, the upper one often loosely sheathing the lower portion of the panicle; ligule membranous, rounded to acute, 3-6 mm long. Inflorescence of many 1-sided spikes arranged in a narrow, continuous or interrupted panicle 8-25(30) cm long, the panicle branches strongly ascending to appressed; spikes bearing several to many spikelets in 2 rows on the rachis, mostly 5-15 mm long. Spikelets usually 1-flowered or many often 2-flowered, compressed and overlapping, suborbicular, 2-3 mm long, becoming stramineous at maturity, disarticulating below the glumes; glumes equal, broad, boat-shaped, inflated, apiculate at the tip, 3-nerved, the lateral nerves faint; lemma(s) about as long as the glumes but much narrower, lanceolate, the acuminate tip(s) protruding from between the glume tips, membranous, very obscurely 5-nerved; palea nearly as long as the lemma; anthers 0.5-1.1 mm long. Grain golden brown, ellipsoid, 1.5-2 mm long. Jun--Sep. Wet meadows, marshes, ditches, shores and stream banks; common from ND and e MT to n and w NE and e WY; (w NY to Man. and AK, s to OH, IL, n KS, NM and CA; also e Asia).
GIF- Species Photo/Drawing
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Beckmannia syzigachne (from Hitchcock 1950).  

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