Description from Flora of China
Deschampsia cespitosa (Linnaeus) P. Beauvois subsp. ko-elerioides (Regel) Tzvelev.
Perennial, forming small dense tussocks. Culms erect, 5–40 cm tall, 1–1.7 mm in diam., 1(or 2)-noded. Leaf sheaths loose, glabrous; leaf blades linear, flat or rolled, up to 20 cm, 1–3 mm wide, abaxial surface smooth, adaxial surface with coarse sharp ridges, smooth or scaberulous; ligule acuminate, up to 8 mm. Panicle densely contracted to spikelike, ovoid to oblong, 1–7 cm, brownish purple with golden sheen; branches very short, visible or not. Spikelets 4–6 mm, florets 2, rachilla internode ca. 1 mm; glumes subequal to spikelet, lower glume slightly shorter than or equaling upper glume, 1-veined, upper glume 3-veined, apex acute or obtuse, often lacerate; callus hairs ca. 1/3 lemma length; lemmas 3–4 mm, awned from or near lower 1/4, apex broadly 2-toothed, teeth irregularly lacerate; awn straight or slightly bent, equaling or slightly longer than lemma. Anthers 1.5–2.2 mm. Fl. Jul–Aug.
This is a distinctive, high-altitude variant from the Deschampsia cespitosa complex, distinguished by its short, spikelike, purple-brown panicles.
A specimen collected in S Xizang (N of Kumaon, N India) has been assigned to Deschampsia cespitosa subsp. sikkimensis Noltie, which is otherwise known only from India (Sikkim). It is a small plant with compact panicles, close to D. koelerioides, but differing in its pyramidal panicle with the spikelets aggregated into fascicles.
Damp alpine meadows, wet places near rivers and stream banks; 3500–5100 m. Gansu, Nei Mongol, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Xizang [E Afghanistan, Kashmir, Kazakhstan (Tarbagatai Mountains), Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, N Pakistan, Russia (S Siberia), Tajikistan (Pamirs), Uzbekistan].