Description from Flora of China
Perennial, loosely to densely tufted. Culms up to 50 cm tall, thinly pubescent to tomentose below panicle, 1- or 2-noded, or node basal and obscured. Leaf sheaths glabrous or pubescent; leaf blades flat, 4–15 cm, 1–4 mm wide, pubescent or glabrous, margins sometimes setose near ligule; ligule 1–2 mm. Panicle elliptic-oblong to narrowly oblong in outline, 1.5–12 cm, sometimes interrupted, silvery green, grayish or purplish; axis and branches densely pubescent. Spikelets 4.7–6 mm, florets 2 or 3; rachilla hairs 0.3–0.5(–1) mm; glumes slightly unequal, lower glume narrowly lanceolate, 3.5–5 mm, keel scabrid, upper glume elliptic-oblong, 4.3–5.8 mm, keel scabrid or ciliate, margins broadly membranous; lemmas lanceolate, 3.7–5.5 mm, finely scabrid to shortly pubescent, shortly awned from upper 1/4 or above, apex acute or 2-mucronate; awn 0.5–2.5 mm, straight; palea keels scabrid to ciliolate. Anthers 0.6–1.5 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun–Sep.
This species is intermediate between the closely related genera Trisetum and Koeleria, especially in the possession of a short, straight awn. A hybrid origin has been postulated (T. spicatum × K. macrantha). Variation in the high mountains of W China and neighboring regions is poorly understood. In particular, the boundary with short-awned forms of T. spicatum is obscured by intermediates. Forms with a very short, straight awn are here all included in K. litvinowii.
Grassy or stony mountain slopes, alpine meadows; 3000–5200 m. Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan [Afghanistan, Kashmir, E Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan (Pamirs)].