5. Colpodium leucolepis Nevski, Bull. Soc. Imp. Naturalistes Moscou. 43: 224. 1934.
高山小沿沟草 gao shan xiao yan gou cao
Colpodium villosum Bor; Paracolpodium altaicum subsp. leucolepis (Nevski) Tzvelev; P. leucolepis (Nevski) Tzvelev.
Perennial, shortly rhizomatous, forming loose mats. Culms erect or ascending, 8–28 cm tall, 2-noded. Leaf sheaths closed up to middle, longer than internodes; leaf blades glaucous, folded, 2–12 cm × 1–3 mm, adaxial surface puberulous, abaxial surface usualy glabrous, apex acute; ligule 1–3 mm. Panicle very narrow, spikelike, almost racemose, 3–7 cm, branches spaced, erect or almost so. Spikelets 3.4–4.2 mm, floret 1, usually pale green; glumes unequal, slightly shorter than floret, lower glume elliptic, 2.1–3 mm, upper glume lanceolate-elliptic, 2.6–3.5 mm, apex acute; lemma oblong, as long as spikelet, 5-veined, villous on veins or generally in lower half, apex obtuse-denticulate; palea keels villous, rachilla extension absent. Stamens 2; anthers 2–3 mm, dark purple. Fl. and fr. Jun–Aug.
Alpine grasslands, gravelly slopes, rocky fissures; 3900–5000 m. Xinjiang [NE Afghanistan, Kashmir, E Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, N Pakistan, Tajikistan (Pamirs)].
This species is confined to the high mountains of the W Himalayas.
Colpodium himalaicum (J. D. Hooker) Bor, from Kashmir and the W Himalayas, is similar, but has a more densely tufted habit and much shorter glumes not exceeding 1/2 the length of the floret.