Description from Flora of China
Apluda aristata Linnaeus; A. communis Nees; A. genicu-lata Roxburgh; A. microstachya Nees; A. mutica var. aristata (Linnaeus) Hackel; A. varia Hackel, nom. illeg. superfl.
Culms rooting from lower nodes, up to 3 m long, smooth, glabrous, much branched in upper part, branches flexuous. Leaf sheaths usually glabrous; leaf blades flat, 10–30 × 0.5–2 cm, attenuate to a setaceous apex; ligule 1–2 mm. Spathate panicle up to 50 cm, branches very slender with spaced spathes subtending small clusters of spatheoles; spatheole ovate in side view, herbaceous, multiveined, up to 1 cm, often tipped by a fimbriate ligule and narrow vestigial blade; peduncle 1–1.5 mm; raceme 7–10 mm; pedicels oblong, 3–4 mm, glabrous or ciliate upward. Sessile spikelet 4–5 mm; lower glume narrowly elliptic-lanceolate; lower lemma as long as or shorter than lower glume; upper lemma deeply 2-lobed with 4–12 mm awn, or entire to emarginate and awnless. Pedicelled spikelets lanceolate, awnless. Fl. and fr. Jul–Dec.
This is a polymorphic species widespread in tropical Asia.
Common in thickets and along forest margins, sometimes forming large masses; below 1800 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan (Ryukyu Islands), Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; SW Asia (Oman, Socotra), Australia (Queensland), Indian Ocean Islands (Mascarenes), Madagascar, Pacific Islands (New Caledonia)].