Description from Flora of China
Rottboellia sanguinea Retzius, Observ. Bot. 3: 25. 1783; Andropogon hirtiflorus (Nees) Kunth; A. sanguineus (Retzius) Merrill; Schizachyrium hirtiflorum Nees.
Perennial, tussocky, whole plant often reddish brown. Culms erect, hard, 50–120 cm tall, 2–4 mm in diam., simple or branched, glabrous. Leaf sheaths keeled, glabrous; leaf blades linear, flat, 5–20 × 0.1–0.5 cm, glabrous, margins scabrid, apex acute; ligule ca. 1 mm. Raceme very slender, erect, distant, 3–9 cm, dark purplish red, finally long exserted from spatheole; rachis internodes and pedicels linear-clavate, equaling or slightly shorter than sessile spikelet, glabrous or white-ciliate. Sessile spikelet 5–8 mm; lower glume linear, leathery, convex with inflexed margins, keeled from below middle to apex, back scabrid, veins obscure, keels very narrowly winged toward apex, apex 2-toothed; upper lemma 2-lobed to near base; awn 1–2 cm. Pedicelled spikelet lanceolate, reduced to 1 or 2 glumes, 2.8–4 mm, lower glume with awn up to 3 mm. Fl. and fr. Jul–Dec.
This grass is widely distributed in tropical and warmer, subtropical parts of the world.
Dry hillsides; near sea level to 3600 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; Africa, America, Australia].