Description from Flora of China
Melica polyantha Keng.
Perennial, loosely tufted, with slender rhizomes. Culms 40–90 cm tall, 1.5–2 mm in diam., scabrid below panicle, several-noded. Leaves all cauline; leaf sheaths densely pubescent at base, scaberulous upward; leaf blades flat or loosely involute when dry, 8–22 cm × 2–6 mm, abaxial surface scabrid, adaxial surface puberulous, sometimes sparsely pilose; ligule ca. 0.3 mm or almost absent. Panicle narrow, 12–30 cm; branches 2–4 per node, erect or ascending, longest 6–15 cm. Spikelets linear-lanceolate, 5–9(–11) mm, usually purple tinged, fertile florets 2–3(–4), 1 very small sterile floret raised on 2–3 mm internode; glumes membranous, lower glume 2–3.5 mm, upper glume 3–5 mm, both acute; lemmas lanceolate, lowest 4–6 mm, minutely scaberulous upward, apex membranous, obtuse; palea keels scabrid to ciliolate. Anthers 0.5–1 mm. Fl. Jun–Aug.
* Rocky slopes, moist ground, roadsides; 2300–4200 m. Gansu, Guizhou, Hubei, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xizang.