6. Stipa capillata Linnaeus, Sp. Pl., ed. 2. 1: 116. 1762.
针茅 zhen mao
Perennial, densely tufted. Culms 40–80 cm tall, often 4-noded, lower nodes concealed. Leaf sheaths smooth or slightly scabrid, lower longer than internodes; leaf blades convolute, basal blades up to 40 cm, outer surface smooth or scabrid; ligule lanceolate, of basal leaves 1–1.5 mm, of culm leaves 3–10 mm. Panicle narrow, 10–25 cm or more, base enclosed by expanded uppermost leaf sheath. Spikelets yellowish green or gray-white; glumes narrowly lanceolate, 2.5–3.5 cm, apex filiform; callus pungent, 2–3 mm; lemma 9–12 mm, shortly hairy in longitudinal lines, smooth and glabrous toward apex; awn deciduous, 11–19 cm, scabrid, 2-geniculate, column 3.5–5 cm to first bend, ca. 1.5 cm to second bend, bristle curling, ca. 10 cm. Fl. and fr. Jun–Aug.
Mountain valleys, plains, rocky slopes; 500–2300 m. N Gansu, Hebei, Shanxi, N Xinjiang [Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan; SW Asia, Europe].
This is a widespread species yielding good forage in the steppe zone when young. After the fruiting heads appear the sharp calluses can cause damage to cattle.