Description from Flora of China
Kobresia lepidochlamys F. T. Wang & Tang ex P. C. Li.
Rhizomes short, thick, woody. Basal sheaths prominent, brown or dark brown, margins fibrillose, retaining dried leaf blades. Culms densely tufted, erect and stout, obtusely trigonous, (10-)15-45 cm tall, 1.5-2.5 mm in diam. Leaves basal, shorter than or ± equaling culms; blade filiform, 1-3(-5) mm wide, V- or U-shaped in cross section, midrib not distinct abaxially. Inflorescence a dense spike, sometimes interrupted at base, brown or dark brown, oblong to narrowly oblong, 2-6 × 0.5-1.2 cm; lowest involucral bract glumelike, apex aristate. Spikelets (except a few terminal ones that may be male only) bisexual with a basal female flower and (1-)3-7 distal male flowers; glumes brown or chestnut-brown, with yellowish green or green midvein, oblong, oblong-elliptic, or oblong-ovate, 5-6 × 2-3 mm, margin hyaline or not, apex obtuse or rounded and aristate; arista sinuate, 1-5 mm, margin hispid. Prophylls yellow or whitish yellow in lower part, brown above, oblong, 5-8 × 1.8-3 mm, papery, 2-keeled, keels smooth or very minutely scabrid, with up to 8 veins between keels, margins open to base, apex truncate. Nutlets yellow or yellowish brown, oblong, trigonous, 3-4.5 × 2-3 mm, very shortly stipitate, not or shortly beaked. Stigmas 3. Fl. and fr. May-Sep.
This is like a robust form of Kobresia schoenoides, from which it is distinguished by its fibrillose sheaths; longer spikes; midribs of glumes broader, green, developed into an arista; and nutlets larger, narrower. In the description of K. lepidochlamys, the male flowers were misinterpreted as perianth scales. A specimen from Yunnan (Rock 9600) is intermediate between K. cuneata and K. kansuensis: it has the spicate inflorescence and fibrillose leaf sheaths of the former, but the very robust habit and flat leaves (midribs distinct abaxially) of the latter.
● Alpine meadows among shrubs, alpine swampy meadows, wet grassy slopes, grassy areas under woods; 3000-4800 m. Gansu, ?Qinghai, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan.