Plants perennial; loosely cespitose. Culms 65-150 cm, sometimes thickened at the base, erect, unbranched; internodes glabrous; nodes concealed. Leaves cauline; sheaths longer than the internodes, usually lanose-floccose, occasionally glabrate; ligules about 0.1 mm; blades 10-25(30) cm long, 2-6 mm wide, flat, light green or slightly blue-green, glabrous abaxially. Inflorescences paniculate, (25)35-70(82) cm long, (2)3-8(10) cm wide; rachis nodes lanose-floccose; primary branches 3-12 cm, appressed at the base, without axillary pulvini, ascending to spreading distally, sometimes loose and somewhat flexible, with 4-12 spikelets per branch. Glumes usually unequal, 1-veined, brownish-green to dark brown or purplish; lower glumes 8.7-18 mm, with a keeled midvein; upper glumes 8.4-15 mm, awn-tipped, awns to 3 mm; calluses 0.5-1 mm; lemmas 6.5-10 mm, smooth to scabridulous, mostly dark purplish-mottled, slightly narrowed distally but not beaked, junction with the awns not evident; central awns 12-28 mm, curved at the base, often strongly so; lateral awns 7-17 mm, at least 1/2 as long as the central awns; anthers 3, about 3 mm, brown. Caryopses 5-6 mm, chestnut brown. 2n = unknown.
Aristida lanosa is restricted to the eastern United States, where it grows in dry fields, pine-oak woods, and uplands, chiefly in sandy soil. It is sometimes confused with A. palustris, but differs in several reproductive, vegetative, and habitat characteristics.
Perennial; culms stout, solitary or few together, 5-15 dm, the nodes mostly covered by the sheaths, these woolly with soft, tangled hairs; lvs flat, 3-6 dm נ2-5 mm; infl 2-5 dm, with woolly nodes and loose, slender, ascending branches; glumes 1-veined, the first slightly falcate-outcurved, scabrous on the keel and usually puberulent on the sides, 9.5-19 mm, the second glabrous or nearly so, somewhat shorter, 8-15 mm; lemma 7-12 mm, scabrous distally; central awn 1.5-3 cm, conspicuously deflexed to one side; lateral awns half to two-thirds as long. Dry sandy soil on the coastal plain; N.J. to Fla. and Tex., thence ne. to Mo. and Okla.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
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