A perennial, cool season, native bunchgrass averaging 12 to 14 in height. The basal leaves have a purple coloration and are firm, rough and tightly enrolled. Thrives on sandy loams to moderately- heavy soils thus the highest producing bunchgrass in the mountain grasslands. It is not tolerant of any extremes in soil salinity or acidity, or drought tolerant. It can be found in open mountain grasslands to the foothills and northern prairie.