Description from Flora of China
Erianthus speciosus Debeaux, Actes Soc. Linn. Bordeaux 32: 53. 1878; Eulalia birmanica (J. D. Hooker) A. Camus; E. velutina (Hackel) O. Kuntze; Pollinia birmanica J. D. Hooker; P. phaeothrix Hackel var. aurea A. Camus; P. speciosa (Debeaux) Hackel; P. velutina Hackel; Pseudopogonatherum spe-ciosum (Debeaux) Ohwi.
Perennial, base swollen; basal sheaths woolly with golden brown hairs, becoming fibrous. Culms 0.7–2 m tall, 2–5 mm in diam., white-villous below inflorescence, nodes farinose, sometimes pilose. Leaf sheaths glabrous or pilose; leaf blades linear, 25–50 × 0.4–0.7 cm, adaxial surface farinose, white-pilose at base, otherwise glabrous, apex finely acuminate; ligule ca. 1 mm. Racemes 4–7(–13) on a 3–4 cm axis, 10–25 cm, hairs whitish, pale yellowish or golden brown; rachis internodes and pedicels 2/3 as long to subequaling spikelet, ciliate. Sessile spikelet 4.6–5.7 mm, dark brown; callus hairs 1/6–1/3 spikelet length; lower glume narrowly lanceolate-oblong, back concave, villous below middle, hairs evenly spread or concentrated at flanks, veinless between keels, upper keels stiffly ciliate, apex subobtuse; upper lemma narrow, margins pilose, 2-toothed in upper 1/3; awn 1.5–2 cm. Anthers ca. 3.5 mm. Fl. and fr. Aug–Nov.
This species is usually easy to recognize due to its swollen base clothed in golden brown, velvety sheaths, which split into fine fibers with age. Occasionally specimens occur with dark reddish brown or pallid basal hairs. These are simply color variants, and more than one color may even occur on the same specimen.
A particularly vigorous form from Yunnan, N Myanmar, and N Thailand has been separated as Eulalia birmanica. This has long, straight rachis internodes subequaling the spikelet. The type has dark brown basal sheath hairs, but other specimens with long rachis internodes have golden sheath hairs. It simply represents a rather extreme form of this variable species and intergrades with more typical forms.
Grassy hillsides. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Henan, Hubei,Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Shandong, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Cambodia, NE India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam].