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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 23 | Cyperaceae | Kobresia

6. Kobresia fragilis C. B. Clarke, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 36: 267. 1903.

囊状嵩草 nang zhuang song cao

Carex curvata Boott, Ill. Gen. Carex 1: 2. 1858, not Knaf (1847); Kobresia bonatiana Kükenthal; K. clarkeana (Kükenthal) Kükenthal; K. curticeps (C. B. Clarke) Kükenthal var. gyirongensis Y. C. Yang; K. curvata C. B. Clarke; K. hispida Kükenthal; K. yuennanensis Handel-Mazzetti; Schoenoxiphium clarkeanum Kükenthal; S. fragile (C. B. Clarke) C. B. Clarke.

Rhizomes short. Basal sheaths few, pale brown, dull, not retaining dried leaf blades. Culms tufted, erect, trigonous or subterete, (1.5-)6-45 cm tall, slender, 0.5-1.1 mm in diam. Leaves basal or sub-basal, shorter than or equaling culms, sometimes curved; blade V-shaped in transverse section, inrolled, 1-2 mm wide, midrib not distinct abaxially. Inflorescence a loose or sometimes slightly compact panicle, yellowish brown, or green and partly brown, linear or narrowly cylindric, sometimes curved, 1-8 × 0.2-0.7 cm; branches mainly androgynous, subequal in length, appressed or slightly spreading; lower inflorescence branches compound or simple, linear-oblong to ovate; lowest involucral bract leaflike, usually surpassing inflorescence. Spikelets usually unisexual (occasionally bisexual); glumes pale yellow to brown, sometimes marked with brown spots and lines, ovate or oblong, 2-3.5 × 1-1.7 mm, midvein green, broad, margin hyaline, apex aristate, acute, or rounded. Prophylls pale yellow or pale green, sometimes with reddish brown spots and lines, utriculiform, oblong, narrowly elliptic, or narrowly ovate to lanceolate, 2.4-3.5 × 0.8-1.5 mm, membranous, 2-keeled, keels slightly scabrid or smooth, margins fused to apex. Nutlets pale yellow or brown, narrowly oblong or elliptic-obovoid, trigonous, 1.5-2.5 × 0.5-1 mm, shortly beaked. Rachilla in female spikelets longer than nutlet, included in prophyll, green, flat, margins scabrid. Stigmas 3. Fl. and fr. Jun-Sep.

Open grassy slopes, grasslands under Quercus woods, riversides; 2600-4300 m. Qinghai, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, India (Sikkim), Nepal].

This species represents a complex on which further work is required. There are two distinct forms differing in micromorphology of nutlet surface, but these cannot be correlated with the forms that differ (often dramatically) in gross morphology (e.g., in habit-erect vs. weak) or the forms that are predominantly male.


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