Calamagrostis canadensis  (Michx.) P. Beauv. - Blue Joint Grass


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Calamagrostis canadensis - (image 1 of 6)



Family: Poaceae


Open swamps, marshes, wet meadows, calcareous fens and prairies.




Greenland to AK, south to NC, MO, and AR.


Herbaceous perennial to 1.5 m; stems often branches above, smooth, clustered on creeping rhizomes; sheaths mostly smooth; ligules 3-8 mm. Leaf blades scabrous on both sides, flat (or becoming revolute), 4-8 mm wide. Inflorescence a panicle, more or less nodding, 8-25 cm, open at anthesis; longer branches 3-8 cm; spikelets 2-6 mm; glumes subequal or the second glume slightly longer, acute to acuminate, rounded or keeled, glabrous to scabrous-puberulent on both sides; lemma rather smooth, 3/4 to as long as the glumes, dentate or erose and translucent at the tip; awn delicate, erect, mostly straight, inserted near the middle of the lemma; callus hairs numerous, nearly as long as the lemma; vestige of the rachilla 0.1-0.3 mm, hairy throughout..   


Flowers June

Wetland indicator: Obligate

A common wetland "reed" named for its jointed culms and blue-green color.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2010