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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 22 | Poaceae | Danthonia

2. Danthonia cumminsii J. D. Hooker, Fl. Brit. India. 7: 282. 1896 [“1897”].

扁芒草 bian mang cao

Danthonia cachemyriana Jaubert & Spach var. minor J. D. Hooker; D. schneideri Pilger; D. schneideri var. minor (J. D. Hooker) Karthikeyan.

Tussocky perennial from a woody rootstock, basal sheaths leathery, yellowish. Culms 15–60 cm tall, cleistogenes absent. Leaf blades filiform, stiff, up to 35 cm, 1–2 mm wide, glabrous or abaxial surface pubescent. Inflorescence variable, 3–15 cm, a dense, narrow, many-spiculate panicle ranging to a few-spiculate raceme; branches and pedicels puberulous, sometimes a ring of hairs below spikelet. Spikelets with 4(–6) florets spaced on a filiform rachilla; glumes (10–)13–20 mm, gray-green or purple-tinged, elliptic-lanceolate, sometimes thinly hairy, denticulate or mucronate; callus villous; lemma elliptic, bifid above middle, often in upper 1/3, 4.2–8 mm (to awn base), 7–9-veined, thinly hairy on upper margins and across upper back or fringed on margins, hairs sometimes weakly tufted, infrequently short hairs also on lower back or marginal tufts toward base, lobes acuminate into slender awns; central awn 1.5–2.5 cm with dark brown column, awns of lobes 4.5–8 mm. Anthers 2.8–4.5 mm. Lodicules ciliate, hairs ca. 1 mm. Caryopsis narrowly elliptic-oblong, ca. 3 mm; hilum linear, 7/8 caryopsis length. Fl. and fr. May–Oct.

Alpine steppe-meadows, upland forests and stony ground near streams; 3000–4500 m. Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, N India, Nepal, Pakistan].

This is a very variable species, especially in spikelet size and lemma indumentum, but it is not easily divided into infraspecific taxa. Small-spiculate forms with purple glumes and larger, pallid forms sometimes grow together.

This is an important component of alpine pasture, providing good forage for yaks.


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