Plants dioecious or occasionally monoecious, stoloniferous, perennial. Culms mat forming, glabrous or puberulent; internodes
solid, terete. Leaves basal and cauline, not distinctly distichous; sheaths terete, margin open; auricles absent; ligules a
ciliate membrane; blades flat or involute, linear, lax, apex acuminate. Staminate panicles of 1-4 spicate primary
unilateral branches; branches alternate, spikelets in two rows and pectinate. Staminate spikelets solitary ,
laterally compressed, tardily disarticulating above the glumes, awnless, sessile; florets 2 (both staminate), callus
glabrous, rachilla not extended beyond upper floret, awnless; glumes 2, 1-2-veined, unequal, shorter than first floret,
glabrous, awnless; lemmas 3-veined, membranous, glabrous, apex acute; paleas 2-veined, awnless, glabrous. Stamens 3;
anthers red-orange. Pistillate spikelets in burlike clusters with 2-4 spikelets per bur, dorsiventrally
compressed, disarticulation as a "bur" with all spikelets, awnless; florets 1, reduced florets absent, callus glabrous,
rachilla not extended beyond floret, awnless; glumes 2, first reduced, second indurate (modified), unequal, second longer
than floret, glabrous, awnless; lemmas 3-veined (3-lobed), chartaceous, glabrous, awnless; paleas 2-veined, awnless,
glabrous or scabrous. Caryopses ovate or oblong or ellipsoid, brown. Base chromosome number x=10.
A monotypic genus from North America. This sod forming species, along with Bouteloua gracilis (blue
grama), are co-dominants of the shortgrass prairies of North America. An important forage producer. This species
was used to make the sod homes on the Great Plains.