6. Tripogon trifidus Munro ex J. D. Hooker, Fl. Brit. India. 7: 286. 1896 [“1897”].
三裂草沙蚕 san lie cao sha can
Culms up to 50 cm tall, relatively robust. Basal leaf sheaths papery, finally fibrous; leaf blades flat or inrolled, 24–30 × ca. 0.2 cm, adaxial surface scaberulous, pilose with long hairs toward ligule, abaxial surface glabrous. Racemes 10–20 cm, flexuose, fairly dense, spikelets loosely erect to slightly diverging from rachis, imbricate by 1/2–2/3 their length. Spikelets 7–14 mm, pallid to dark gray; florets 5–13, loosely to densely imbricate; lower glume lanceolate, asymmetrical, broadened on one side into a lobe or tooth, 2.4–4.2 mm, acute; upper glume narrowly oblong-elliptic, 4–6.5 mm, apex subacute and mucronate; lemmas lanceolate, 2.6–4 mm to sinus, narrowly bifid, central awn 6–11 mm, flexuose, teeth acuminate, lateral veins extended from their tips into 0.4–1.5 mm awns; palea keels winged, ciliolate. Anthers 2–3, 1.4–1.7 mm. Fl. and fr. Jul.
Stony ground, among rocks, in the open or in shade; 1300–2600 m. Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam].
This is a relatively stout species of Tripogon, taller than other Chinese members of the genus, with longer, thicker leaf blades and a taller tuft of basal sheaths. Most specimens have florets with 3 anthers, but specimens from the Himalayas tend to have only 2 anthers in some or all florets.
Material of this species was misidentified in Fl. Xizang. (5: 73. 1987) as Tripogon wardii Bor, a little-known species from N Myanmar differing from T. trifidus by its much denser racemes and lemmas with a lateral tooth between the central and lateral awns. Tripogon wardii is similar to T. bromoides Roth ex Roemer & Schultes from India.