Culms 50-120 cm, not disarticulating. Sheaths usually villous, occasionally
glabrous; blades 10-30 cm long, 2-4 mm wide, pilose or glabrous, usually
at least the adaxial surface pilose, uppermost cauline blades erect to ascending.
Inflorescences with (5)10-25(30) spikelets; lower branches erect
to ascending, with 2-6 spikelets; pedicels on the lowest branch from shorter
than to subequal to the spikelets. Spikelets 10-20 mm. Calluses of middle
florets from as long as to a little longer than wide, convex abaxially; lemma
bodies 4-6 mm, usually pilose over the back (sometimes glabrous), margins
densely pilose to beyond midlength, hairs evidently increasing in length distally,
longest hairs 2.5-4 mm, longer than apical teeth 2-4.5(5.5) mm, aristate; awns
10-17 mm; anthers to 2.6 mm. Caryopses 1.7-2.4 mm long, 0.8-1.2
mm wide. 2n = 36.
Danthonia sericea is restricted to the eastern United States. It grows
mostly on sand barrens and in open woods on dry soils. A less common form, with
glabrous foliage and lemma backs, is found in bogs, seepage areas, and low moist
areas adjacent to lakes and rivers and has been called D. sericea var.
epilis (Scribn.) Gleason or D. epilis Scribn. [For comments from
Quinn, click here].
Similar patterns of infraspecific variation are also seen in the leaf and lemma
vestiture of D. spicata and D.
californica, but the genetic basis of this variation is probably not
Densely tufted, 5-12 dm; blades flat or involute, 2-5 mm wide, the cauline ones relatively broad and usually flat, those of the innovations narrower and often involute; infl lax, 5-10 cm; glumes narrowly lanceolate, 11-18 mm; lemmas 6.5-10 mm, including the setaceous teeth (these 2.8-4.5 mm) villous at least on the margin with copious white hairs 2-3 mm; awn 11-18 mm; 2n=36. Var. sericea, with the sheaths villous and the lemmas villous on the back, occurs in dry sandy soil and pine woods, chiefly on the coastal plain, in e. Mass. and from s. N.J. to Ky., Fla., and La. Var. epilis (Scribn.) Blomq., with glabrous sheaths and very thin lemmas that are villous on the margins only (or also at base), occurs in bogs, stream-borders, and seeps from s. N.J. to Va. and Ga. (D. epilis)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.