Description from Flora of China
Holcus nitidus Vahl, Symb. Bot. 2: 102. 1791; Andro-pogon nitidus (Vahl) Kunth; A. serratus Thunberg var. nitidus (Vahl) Hackel; Holcus fulvus R. Brown; H. fulvus var. nitidus (Vahl) Honda; Sorghum fulvum (R. Brown) P. Beauvois; S. nitidum var. fulvum (R. Brown) Handel-Mazzetti.
Perennial forming loose tufts. Culms erect, 0.6–2 m tall; nodes bearded with pale spreading hairs. Leaf sheaths glabrous or pilose; leaf blades linear, 10–40(–50) × 0.4–1 cm, glabrous to hispid, bearded at base; ligule 1–1.5 mm. Panicle lanceolate in outline, 15–30 cm, glabrous but with soft hairs at the nodes; primary branches whorled, simple, flexuous, 2–5 cm, lower part bare; racemes borne at branch ends, fragile, composed of 2–4 spikelet pairs; internodes and pedicels brown-ciliate. Sessile spikelet ovate-lanceolate, 3.5–5 mm; lower glume leathery, black-brown at maturity, glossy, glabrous below middle, upper part and margins hispid with brown hairs; upper lemma awnless or awned; awn 1–1.5 cm. Pedicelled spikelet usually staminate, elliptic, 3–3.7 mm, papery, light brown. Fl. and fr. summer–autumn. 2n = 10, 20.
This is a distinctive species not closely related to others found in China. It is easily recognizable by its conspicuously bearded nodes and small, blackish, glossy spikelets. It occurs in both awned and awnless forms.
Meadows, grassy hillsides; 300–1400 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shandong, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand; NE Australia, Pacific Islands].