3. Stipa capillacea Keng, Sunyatsenia. 6(2): 100. 1941.
丝颖针茅 si ying zhen mao
Perennial, tufted. Culms 15–50 cm tall, 2–3-noded. Basal leaves 1/3–1/2 length of culms; leaf sheaths glabrous, longer than internodes; leaf blades acicular, convolute, up to 20 cm, outer surface smooth or scaberulous; ligule of basal and culm leaves ca. 0.6 mm, truncate, ciliolate. Panicle narrowly contracted, 14–18 cm, often exserted from uppermost leaf sheath at maturity; branches erect-ascending, awns of spikelets twisted together at panicle top to form a tail. Spikelets greenish or purplish; glumes narrowly lanceolate, body ca. 1.5 cm, apex long attenuate into capillary 1–1.5 cm filament, often breaking into fine threads; callus pungent, 2–2.5 mm; lemma 7–10 mm, pubescent in a ventral longitudinal line, shortly longitudinally pilose on back, hispidulous below apex, a ring of stiff hairs at awn articulation; awn deciduous, 7–10 cm, 2-geniculate, column glabrous or puberulous, sometimes with longer hairs to 0.8 mm, 1–2 cm to first bend, 0.6–1 cm to second bend, bristle setulose, flexuous, 5–7 cm, apex filamentous. Fl. and fr. Jul–Sep.
Alpine scrub, wet meadows, hills, montane plains, river banks; 2900–5000 m. Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, N India, Kashmir, Nepal].
This is an easily recognizable species because of its spirally coiling awns and filamentous glume tips.