Plants perennial, without rhizomes, forming tufts or small
clumps. Flowering stems 30–80 cm long, erect, circular in cross‑section,
glabrous. Leaf sheaths rounded or nearly so, glabrous, the ligule 1–2 mm long,
rounded on the margin. Leaf blades 3–20 cm long, 1–2 mm wide, flat, glabrous or
nearly so. Inflorescences 8–20 cm long, open, the lowermost nodes with (1)2 or
3 branches, these spreading at maturity. Spikelets 4–6 mm long, with 2–4
fertile florets. Lower glume 2.5–3.5 mm long, lanceolate to narrowly ovate,
bluntly pointed at the tip, with broad, thin margins, 3‑nerved, roughened
along the midnerve. Upper glume 3.0–3.8 mm long, narrowly ovate, bluntly
pointed at the tip, with broad, thin margins, 3‑nerved, roughened along
the midnerve. Lemmas 2.5–4.5 mm long, elliptic, sharply pointed at the tip, 5‑nerved,
short‑hairy along the keel and the outermost pair of lateral nerves, and
with a tuft of long, cobwebby hairs at the base. Anthers 1.0–1.4 mm long.
Fruits 1.5–2.2 mm long, reddish brown. 2n=28. April–June.
Scattered nearly throughout Missouri, but apparently absent
from portions of the Glaciated Plains and Mississippi Lowlands Divisions (Ohio west to Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri; reports from Virginia and Nebraska apparently
are based on misdetermined specimens). Bottomland forests, mesic upland
forests, and banks of streams; rarely in moist, disturbed areas along logging
Reports of P. alsodes A. Gray and P. autumnalis
Vahl in the earlier literature were based upon misdetermined specimens of P.
wolfii (Steyermark, 1963).