3. Leersia virginica Willd. (white grass)
Pl. 158 a;
L. virginica var. ovata (Poir.) Fernald
Flowering stems 30–150 cm long, mostly spreading, often
somewhat flattened. Leaf sheaths glabrous or somewhat roughened with minute
stiff, spinelike, downwardly pointed hairs. Leaf blades 5–20 cm long, 3–15 mm
wide, the surfaces glabrous or less commonly hairy or somewhat roughened, the
margins finely and inconspicuously toothed with minute stiff, spinelike hairs.
Inflorescences with all of the branches 1 per node, with loosely overlapping
spikelets. Spikelets 3–4 mm long, 1.0–1.4 mm wide, oblong to narrowly elliptic,
2.5–4.0 times as long as wide, the lemma and palea usually with a sparse
“eyelash‑like” fringe of hairs along the keel and margins, the surface
glabrous or finely hairy. Stamens 2. Fruits 2.0–2.4 mm long. 2n=48.
Scattered throughout Missouri (eastern U.S. and adjacent Canada west to North Dakota and Texas; Brazil, where possibly introduced). Swamps,
sloughs, bottomland forests, mesic upland forests of ravines, and margins of
streams, rivers, and spring branches; sometimes emergent aquatics.