Description from Flora of China
Andropogon distans Nees ex Steudel, Syn. Pl. Glumac. 1: 387. 1854; A. nardus Linnaeus var. distans (Nees ex Steudel) Hackel.
Perennial, shortly rhizomatous with age; basal sheaths closely overlapping in tight bundles, not curling. Culms densely tufted, erect or ascending, tinged purple, 50–100 cm tall, nodes glabrous. Leaf sheaths glabrous; leaf blades narrowly linear to filiform, flexuous, 10–50 × 0.15–0.3 cm, glaucous, glabrous, margins scabrid; ligule 2–3 mm. Spathate compound panicle narrow, open, 15–30 cm, usually simple, rarely with second tier of branching, raceme pairs few; spatheoles gray-green, 2–3.5 cm; racemes 2–3.5 cm; rachis internodes and pedicels 2–3 mm, margins densely ciliate with white soft hairs up to 3 mm; pedicel of homogamous pair not swollen. Sessile spikelet linear-lanceolate, (6–)7–8 × 0.8–1.2 mm; lower glume flat or shallowly concave in lower part with 1–2 transverse wrinkles, sharply 2-keeled throughout, keels wingless or narrowly winged, wings 0.15–0.25 mm, 2–4-veined between keels in upper part, apex long acuminate, 2-toothed; upper lemma 2-lobed; awn 1.5–2 cm. Pedicelled spikelet 5–9 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun–Oct. 2n = 20, 40.
Aromatic oils are extracted from this species for medicinal and industrial purposes.
Mountain slopes, valleys, open grassy places; 2000–3500 m. S Gansu, Guizhou, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [NW India, Nepal, Pakistan].