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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

63. Poaceae, the Grass Family

20. Phalaris L. -- Canarygrass

1. Phalaris arundinacea L. -- Reed canarygrass


Tall, stout, rhizomatous perennial 6-16 dm tall, often densely colonial. Leaf blades not surpassing the panicle, flat, 6-16(20) mm wide, glabrous; sheaths glabrous, sometimes purplish; ligule scarious, rounded or lacerate, 3-8 mm long. Panicle contracted and narrow, dense or interrupted, 6-18 cm long, the spikelets in dense lobe-like clusters on short ascending branches. Spikelets 3.5-5 mm long, disarticulating above the glumes; glumes subequal, exceeding the fertile floret, ovate-lanceolate, acute to mucronate, whitish-green or purplish and turning stramineous with age, conspicuously 3-nerved; fertile lemma ovate, acute, slightly keeled, 2.5-3.5 mm long, firm and shiny, villous mainly on the margins, faintly 5-nerved; palea as long as the lemma; anthers 1.8-3.4 mm long; sterile florets 2, scalelike and villous, appressed against the base of the fertile one, 1-1.5 mm long. Grain brown to dark brown, ovoid, 1.5-2 mm long. Jun--Jul. Wet meadows, shallow marshes, wet ditches, shores and stream banks; common, especially in the e; (Circumboreal, in N.Amer. from Newf. to AK, s to NC, MO, OK, NM, AZ and CA).
GIF- Species Photo/Drawing

Phalaris arundinacea (from Hitchcock 1950).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Panicum capillare L. -- Common witchgrass
Return to Family -- Poaceae - The Grass Family
Next Section -- Phleum pratense L. -- Timothy

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