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

10. Kobresia tunicata Handel-Mazzetti, Symb. Sin. 7: 1254. 1936.

玉龙嵩草 yu long song cao

Rhizomes short. Basal sheaths prominent and persistent, brown, not shiny, not retaining dried leaf blades. Culms densely tufted, erect and rigid, trigonous, 20-25 cm tall, ca. 1.5 mm in diam. Leaves basal, longer than culms; blade flat or folded, 1.5-3 mm wide, midrib distinct abaxially. Inflorescence loosely paniculate, brown, lanceolate, ca. 5 cm × 7 mm; lowest involucral bract glumelike, blunt; inflorescence branches linear, androgynous; spikelets unisexual, terminal spikelets male (up to 3), lower ones (up to 9) female. Female glumes brown, with green midvein, ovate-lanceolate or oblong-ovate, 5-5.5 × 1.5-2 mm, midvein narrow, margin hyaline, apex subacute or obtuse. Prophylls pale brown, linear-lanceolate, 5.2-6 × ca. 1 mm, papery, apex hyaline, 2-keeled, keels scabrid, margins free to base, overlapping. Immature nutlets narrowly elliptic, obscurely trigonous, ca. 4 mm (including stipe) × 0.8 mm, stipitate, crowned with stout beaklike style base, beak ca. 1 mm. Stigmas 3. Sterile rachilla of female spikelets flat, ca. 2 mm, sometimes with vestigial glume at apex. Fl. and fr. May-Sep.

● Alpine grasslands, marshes at edges of pools; 3300-4300 m. Sichuan, Yunnan.

Both Kükenthal and Ivanova (in schedis, 1939, 1941) referred the type specimen of Kobresia tunicata (Handel-Mazzetti 3525, WU) to K. kansuensis, of which it may only be a less-robust form with unisexual spikelets. It is also possible that it is a form of K. graminifolia with a branched inflorescence, but further collections are required.


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