Plants cespitose, rarely stoloniferous. Culms 0.9-1.8 m; nodes glabrous
or with hairs to 0.5 mm. Sheaths glabrous; ligules 1-3 mm, with
lateral lobes; blades 18-60 cm long, 5-12 mm wide, glabrous. Peduncles
30-40 cm, glabrous; panicles 1-2.5 cm wide, linear; lowest nodes
glabrous or sparsely pilose; rachises 10-35 cm, glabrous or sparsely pubescent;
primary branches 6-18 cm, appressed; rame internodes 3-5 mm, glabrous.
Sessile spikelets 7-10 mm long, 1.1-1.5 mm wide, brown. Callus hairs
absent or to 2 mm, shorter than the spikelets, straw-colored; lower glumes
scabrous, 5-veined; lower lemmas 6-8 mm, 2-veined; upper lemmas
0.9-1 times as long as the lower lemmas, 3-veined, entire; awns 17-24 mm,
terete, straight or curved at the base; lodicule veins extending into hairlike
projections; anthers 2. Pedicels 3-5 mm, glabrous. Pedicellate
spikelets similar to the sessile spikelets. 2n = 30.
Saccharum baldwinii commonly grows in sandy, shaded river and stream bottoms.
It occurs throughout the southeastern United States, but it is not as common as
other members of the genus, and is rare or completely absent from higher elevations
of the Appalachian Mountains.