This species is very local but usually abundant where found. Its habitat is so varied that it seems worth while to give the habitat in which specimens have been found. In Harrison and Clark Counties it occurs on top of bluffs between 200 and 300 feet high along the Ohio River and at the very edge of the bluff. I found a few specimens in an alluvial flat along a small stream in Harrison County. In Greene County I found it along a railroad and I assume that this single specimen was a waif. In Tippecanoe County it occurs as a common plant near the top of the very high gravelly bank of Big Wea Creek southwest of Lafayette. In Wabash County I found a few plants on "hanging rock." This is a large rock isolated by erosion, standing 84 feet high on the low bank of the Wabash River near Lagro.
Culms 5-15 dm; sheaths glabrous; blades 5-8, flat, 10-20 cm נ5-12 mm; infl 1-2 dm, more freely branched than in no. 2 [Melica mutica Walter], with short lateral branches from most of the nodes; spikes short-pedicellate, pendulous, 9-12 mm; first glume broadly ovate or ovate-elliptic, 5-8 נ3.5-5 mm, its margins meeting around the spikelet; fertile lemmas (2)3, the second one usually distinctly projecting beyond the first; sterile lemmas 2, obconic, surpassed by the fertile ones; 2n=18. Rocky or dry upland woods; Pa. to s. Minn. and Nebr., s. to Ga. and Tex.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.