12. Kobresia kansuensis Kükenthal, Acta Horti Gothob. 5: 38. 1930.
甘肃嵩草 gan su song cao
Kobresia pseuduncinoides Noltie.
Rhizomes short, thick, woody. Basal sheaths prominent, dark brown, shiny, leathery, not retaining dried leaf blades. Culms densely tufted, erect, sharply triquetrous, (14-)20-70 cm tall, stout, 2.2-4(-6) mm in diam. Leaves basal, shorter than or ± equaling culms; blade flat, sometimes folded at base, 4-9 mm wide, midrib distinct abaxially. Inflorescence densely paniculate (occasionally spicate), brown or dark brown, partly green, narrowly oblong to lanceolate, (2-)3-6.5 × 0.7-1.8 cm, with numerous short, appressed branches; inflorescence branches simple; lowest involucral bract glumelike, broad green midvein elongated into filiform arista not exceeding inflorescence. Terminal spikelets of inflorescence branches male, lower ones bisexual with 1 basal female flower and 2-4(-6) distal male flowers, sometimes with some unisexual female ones above (or throughout). Glumes brown, with yellowish green or green midvein, oblong, oblong-elliptic, or oblong-ovate, 5-10 × 2-3.5 mm, midvein narrow, margin narrowly hyaline near apex, apex acute to strongly aristate. Prophylls yellow or yellowish green in lower part, brown in upper part, narrowly oblong, 4.5-7.4 × 1-1.3 mm, papery, 2-keeled, keels minutely scabrid, sometimes 2-4-veined between keels, margins open to base. Nutlets brown or grayish brown, narrowly obovoid or narrowly oblong, trigonous, 2.8-4(-5) × 0.8-1 mm, very shortly stipitate, shortly beaked, beak to 0.6 mm. Stigmas 3. Fl. and fr. May-Oct.
Shaded and wet places, open marshes, among shrubs, alpine meadows, grassy slopes, streamsides; 3000-4700 m. Gansu, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, Nepal].
Specimens from Bhutan, Nepal, and SE Xizang (described as Kobresia pseuduncinoides) tend to be extremely robust, with large prophylls and strongly aristate glumes, but variation in these characters is found to be continuous. Forms with simple spikes can be distinguished from robust forms of K. cuneata by their flat leaves.