It is a perennial bunchgrass, (i.e. grows in tufts), which grows 30–120 cm (12–47 in), flowering from June until August. The panicles are green to purplish. The spikelets have 5 to 14 flowers.
It has a short, blunt ligule compared to other grasses 1 mm high. The leaves are bright green and up to 4mm across.