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

25. Kobresia setschwanensis Handel-Mazzetti, Symb. Sin. 7: 1254. 1936.

四川嵩草 si chuan song cao

Kobresia handel-mazzettii K. V. Ivanova; K. longearistita P. C. Li; K. pinetorum F. T. Wang & Tang ex P. C. Li.

Rhizomes short. Basal sheaths prominent and persistent, pale brown, dull or slightly shiny, not fibrillose, not retaining dried leaf blades. Culms densely tufted, stiffly erect, obtusely trigonous, 5-20(-40) cm, slender, 0.7-1.3 mm in diam. Leaves basal, shorter than culms; blade folded or margin involute, stiff, 1-2 mm wide, midrib not distinct abaxially. Inflorescence usually a dense spike (occasionally with 1 or 2 branches at base), greenish brown, cylindric, 1-3.5 × 0.3-0.6 cm; lowest involucral bract glumelike, apex long or shortly aristate; terminal few spikelets male, lower ones bisexual with 1 female and 2-5 male flowers. Glumes brown, with yellowish green to green midvein, oblong-ovate to oblong-lanceolate, 3-4.5 × 1.5-2.5 mm, papery, midvein broad, margin usually narrowly hyaline, apex usually subacute, sometimes shortly aristate. Prophylls yellowish brown, oblong, 2-4.5 × 1-1.6 mm, membranous, 2-keeled, keels smooth or slightly scabrid, sometimes veined between keels, margins free nearly to base, apex rounded or acute. Nutlets yellowish, narrowly obovoid, compressed trigonous, 2.1-3 × 1-1.3 mm, not beaked, subsessile. Stigmas 3. Fl. and fr. May-Sep.

● Grassy slopes, alpine meadows, swampy meadows and marshes by lakes, dry limestone slopes, forest (including Pinus) understories, Quercus scrub; 2300-4300 m. Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan.

This is a slender version of Kobresia schoenoides with narrower spikes-linking that species with K. capillifolia and K. tibetica, together forming a complex that requires further work.

Plants with slender culms, filiform leaves, and small spikes from Pinus forests (i.e., dry habitats) in NW Yunnan were described as Kobresia pinetorum; but specimens with equally small spikes have been seen from wet habitats, and forms from Pinus forests with robust culms and larger spikes are also known: all of these seem best referred to a variable K. setschwanensis.


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