The Chess Grass (Bromus secalinus), also called Willard's Bromus, has a spreading, slightly drooping panicle. The spikelets are ovate and smooth with a yellowish-green tinge and holding six to ten distinct flowers. The stems are erect, smooth, and round growing from two to three feet high and bearing four or five leaves with striated sheaths. The upper sheath is crowned with an obtuse, ragged ligule while the lower sheath is soft and hairy. There are five joints and the leaves are flat, soft, and linear. The spikelets have fewer florets and the outer palea is rounded at the summit and broader compared with its length. This picture shows the grass a few days before coming to maturity.
Flint, Charles L. Grasses and Forage Plants (Boston, MA: William F. Gill & Company, 1874)
Courtesy the private collection of Roy Winkelman