4. Melica scaberrima (Nees ex Steudel) J. D. Hooker, Fl. Brit. India. 7: 330. 1896 [“1897”].
糙臭草 cao chou cao
Glyceria scaberrima Nees ex Steudel, Syn. Pl. Glumac. 1: 287. 1854.
Perennial. Culms 90–200 cm tall, 2–3 mm in diam., many-noded. Leaves all cauline, leaf sheaths as long as or longer than internodes, harshly retrorsely scabrid on veins, teeth sometimes elongated into short bristles; leaf blades thin, 15–25 cm × 3–7 mm, abaxial surface scabrid, adaxial surface smooth, glabrous or sparsely hispid; ligule 1–2.3 mm. Panicle open, 15–30 cm; branches 2 or 3 per node, distant, eventually divaricate, usually branched, up to 15 cm, spikelets often clustered on the branchlets. Spikelets narrowly elliptic, 10–14 mm, green, fertile florets 2 or 3, 1 or 2 similar but smaller sterile florets raised on elongate internodes; glumes unequal, clearly shorter than adjacent florets, lower glume narrowly ovate, 2.6–5.2 mm, upper glume lanceolate, 3.8–6.5 mm, both acute; lemmas narrowly lanceolate, lowest 6–9 mm, granular-scaberulous, 5–7-veined, upper margins and apex membranous, apex subacute; palea keels scabrid-ciliolate. Anthers ca. 2 mm. Fl. Jul–Aug.
Forest fringes, grassy places on mountain slopes; 2800–4000 m. Xizang, NW Yunnan (Dêqên, Zhongdian) [NW India, Kashmir, W Nepal, N Pakistan].
This is a tall species with a large panicle, only likely to be confused with Melica onoei, from which it can be distinguished by its narrower, thinner leaf blades, longer ligules, and spikelets with more florets, in addition to the key characters. It is a species of the W Himalayas. Specimens reported from China have not been seen.