12. Saccharum fallax Balansa, J. Bot. (Morot). 4: 80. 1890.
金猫尾 jin mao wei
Erianthus chrysothrix Hackel; E. fallax (Balansa) Ohwi; Narenga fallax (Balansa) Bor; N. fallax var. aristata (Balansa) L. Liu; Saccharum fallax var. aristatum Balansa; Sclerostachya fallax (Balansa) Grassl.
Perennial. Culms 1.5–3 m tall, 8–12 mm in diam., nodes bearded with golden-brown hairs, hirsute below panicle. Leaf sheaths usually longer than internodes, margin brown-hirsute; leaf blades stiff, 40–80 × 1–1.5 cm, uppermost usually very small, glabrous or tuberculate-pilose, margins scabrid, base narrowed, apex acuminate; ligule ca. 1.5 mm. Panicle loosely oblong in outline, 30–60 cm, golden or ferruginous brown, axis pilose, bearded at nodes, primary branches sparsely branched in lower part; racemes flexuously ascending, densely spiculate, 8–16 cm; rachis internodes 2–2.4 mm, ciliate. Spikelets 3–4 mm, brown; callus hairs a little shorter than spikelet, brown; lower glume oblong-lanceolate, papery becoming herbaceous toward apex, back brown-hirsute, apex narrowly truncate; lower lemma 3/4 length of glumes; upper lemma oblong, obtuse and awnless or minutely mucronate, varying to shortly 2-toothed and awned from sinus; awn twisted, bent, up to 6 mm. Anthers 3, 1.6–2.2 mm. Fl. and fr. Aug–Oct.
Hill slopes; 400–1000 m. Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Yunnan [NE India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam].
This is a very handsome grass with a striking golden or rusty brown, softly hairy inflorescence. The racemes often contain a mixture of awned and awnless spikelets in varying proportions. Even adjacent spikelets may differ in this character, which is not related to whether the spikelet is sessile or pedicelled.