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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 22 | Poaceae | Poa

73. Poa faberi Rendle, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 36: 423. 1904.

法氏早熟禾 fa shi zao shu he

Culms loosely tufted, (25–)30–50(–70) cm tall, erect or obliquely ascending, soft and slender, scabrid, rarely smooth below inflorescence, nodes (2–)3 or 4, uppermost up to 1/3(–1/2) way up culm. Shoots extravaginal. Leaf sheaths scabrid, long, the uppermost only 2–5 cm shorter than internode and usually shorter than blade; leaf blades flat, very thin and soft, (4–)6–12 × 0.1–0.15(–0.2) cm; ligule (2–)3–5(–8) mm. Panicle narrow, congested to loose, (4–)6–12 × 1–1.5(–2) cm, branches erect, 2–5 per node, basal ones 1/3–1/2 as long as panicle with spikelets distally crowded. Spikelets lanceolate, sometimes very narrow and elongated, green or bluish, 3.5–5(–8) mm long, florets 2–5; rachilla glabrous or pubescent; glumes narrowly lanceolate, unequal, 2.5–4(–4.5) mm; lemma lanceolate, sometimes very narrow, (2.5–)3–4 mm, rarely pubescent between veins, apex membranous; callus sparsely webbed (rarely glabrous).

* Mountain forest margins, meadows among scattered thickets on slopes, grassy places on sunny slopes; 200–1200(–4400) m. Anhui, Gansu, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan.

Poa faberi resembles P. sphondylodes s.s. in the uppermost node position and long ligules, but differs from it in being softer and also in distribution and ecology, growing commonly at higher elevations in S and SW China. It is represented by many morphological types, some of them described as species, but material is lacking and further research is needed to confirm its taxonomic status. Some of these types have undeveloped spikelets and stamens and look like immature and sterile modern hybrids.

The highest concentration of different morphological variants of this species is in Sichuan and Xizang. These unusual and very soft plants with long leaf blades, very thin, almost smooth panicle branches, and abnormally narrow spikelets, glumes, and lemmas occur quite frequently in the highlands of Sichuan, Xizang, and Yunnan. They look like hybrids involving Poa asperifolia (P. sect. Homalopoa), which has a long ligule, thin panicle branches, elongated parts of the rachilla, and very narrow spikelets.

1 Rachilla pubescent.   73c var. longifolia
+ Rachilla glabrous   (2)
2 (1) Ligule (2–)3–6(–8) mm.   73a var. faberi
+ Ligule ca. 10 mm.   73b var. ligulata


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