1. Kobresia laxa Nees, Contr. Bot. India. 119. 1834; R.R.Stewart, l.c. 97; Kukkonen in Rech.f., l.c. 160.
Hemicarex laxa (Nees) Bentham in J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 18: 367. 1881. Schoenoxiphium laxum (Nees) Ivanova in Zhurn. Bot. 24: 501. 1939. Kobresia pseudolaxa C.B. Clarke in Linn. Soc. Bot. 20: 381. 1884; K. afghanica Raymond, in Koeie & Rechinger, Dan. Biol. Skr. 14: 17. 1965; S. hissaricum Pissjauk., l.c. 12: 72. 1950; K. hissarica (Pissjauk.) Soják, Casop. Nár. Muzea 148: 194. 1979. K. laxa subsp. hissarica (Pissjauk.) Kukkonen in Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien 98B, Suppl.: 91. 1996. C.B. Clarke, Ill. Cyper.: tab. 143: figs. 4-7. 1909. Kükenthal, in Engler, Pflanzenr. IV.20, 38: fig. 11. 1909. Pissjauk. in Not. Syst. Leningrad 12: fig. 1. 1950.
Tufted perennial with short stolons, (5)10-50 cm. Stem c. 1 mm diam., sharply or obtusely triangular, grooved, slightly scabrous above. Leaves equalling stem length; sheaths to 75 mm, lower blade-less, yellowish brown, disintegrating into fibres with age; mouth margin straight or slightly oblique; ligule c. 0.3 mm, slightly arched; blades 1-3.5 mm wide, flat or sometimes involute, long acuminate, margins and keel scabrous. Inflorescence 15-80 mm, a paniculodium, basal major branches end with male spike, in most distal short rachillas no male flowers produced; rachilla tip barely protruding through ostiole; proportion female to male flowers variable, male flowers sometimes dominating, sometimes almost lacking; bracts equalling their partial inflorescence, lowermost up to overtopping inflorescence; partial inflorescences rebranched; utricles 2-5 x 0.5-1 mm, basal shortest and open almost to base, upper nearly closed, fusiform, slightly curved outwards, scarious, adaxial side brown, with two, often scabrous nerves; ostiole mostly wide, oblique, margins widely scarious; female glumes equalling or longer than utricles, acute or acuminate, light brown, margins widely scarious; male glumes c. 4 x 1.5 mm, brown, acute or with arista up to 1 mm. Stigmas (2-)3(-4); stamens mostly 3. Nut 1.8-2.5 x 0.5-0.8 mm, narrowly oblong, yellowish, finely reticulate, glossy.
Fl. Per.: May - August.
Syntypes: ”Nepalia”, Royle 81 (from Sikkim, acc. to Kük.), Royle 102.
Alpine meadows, rock crevices; Distribution: From Afghanistan and Tadjikistan (Ikonnikov, Def. pl. vasc. Badachsch. 1979) to Sikkim.
Kobresia laxa is a common species along the Himalayas from c. 2500 to 3500 m. It is quite variable, including the proportion of female to male flowers (the reason for describing K. pseudolaxa C.B. Clarke). K. afghanica from Afghanistan was based on stunted plants collected in grazed meadow (”nasse beweidete Rasen”); similar plants occur in exposed localities in Himalayas. Schoenoxiphium hissaricum Pissjauk. from shaded habitat in Tadjikistan has compact inflorescences and was based on differences in the shape and size of utricles, but the utricles of K. laxa vary depending on their position in the inflorescence (Timonen in Ann. Bot. Fennici 22: 153-171, 1985); it is here included in K. laxa.