Aira caryophyllea is an annual C3 grass (Pascal-Antoine 2008), 10-30 cm tall, stems very slender, nodes 2-3.
Leaves alternate, mostly basal, blade 0.5-5 cm long, to 0.1 cm wide, filamentous, edges rolled inward, sheaths and blade rough-textured, short; ligule membranous, ragged, 0.2-0.5 cm long.
Flower spikelets 2-flowered, silvery in bloom, the stalk 1-2 times as long as the spikelet, glumes about 0.3 cm long, lemmas about 0.2 cm long, tips 2-toothed, both awned from below middle, awns about 0.3 cm long, bent, lower part wider and shorter than upper part; inflorescence branched, open, 1-12 cm long, 3-10 cm wide, silvery-shiny, becoming whitish in age (Clayton et al. 2002+); blooming and fruiting May-July.
Wetland status: NL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Dry, open soil.