Saccharum elephantinum (Hook.f.) Naray.
Tall caespitose perennial; culms up to 4.5 m high. Leaf-blades up to 100 cm long, 3-20 mm wide, flat. Panicle 25-70 cm long, dense or sublobate, the axis markedly angular (usually 6-angled) and the peduncle glabrous; racemes 1.5-3 cm long, much shorter than the supporting branches, the internodes and pedicels hirsute with hairs 3-6 mm long. Spikelets slightly heteromorphous, 3-6(-6.5) mm long, the callus bearded with whitish, greyish or sometimes yellowish hairs up to about 4 mm long; glumes equal, membranous, those of the sessile spikelet glabrous, the lower scabrid on the keels, or sometimes with a few hairs at the base, those of the pedicelled spikelet sparsely to moderately hairy on the back, the hairs shorter than those of the callus; lower lemma lanceolate, glabrous; upper lemma narrow, attenuate with an awn 2.5-10 mm long, well exserted from the glumes.
Fl. & Fr. Per.: (August-) September-December.
Type locality: Italy.
Distribution: Pakistan (Sind, Baluchistan, Punjab, N.W.F.P., Gilgit & Kashmir): northern India and Southwest Asia westwards to the Mediterranean region.
This gigantic tufted grass is of little value as a fodder plant but the strong culms can be used for the walls of huts.
A number of specimens collected in Pakistan show some intermediacy between Saccharum griffithii and Saccharum ravennae. These plants are a heterogeneous collection expressing their intermediacy in several ways including distribution of indumentum on the glumes of the sessile spikelet, long awns in plants otherwise apparently Saccharum griffithii or yellow hairs and narrow panicles in plants which seem to be Saccharum ravennae. It is probable that these specimens are the hybrid Saccharum griffthii x ravennae and their heterogeneity suggests that they are the products of introgression between populations. Examples to be seen in herbaria include: R.R. & I.D. Stewart 18893 (RAW), 22957 (K, RAW); M. Inayat Khan 20323 (K, RAW), 20324 (K); R.R. & I.D. Stewart & E. Nasir 22879 (RAW); M.A. Siddiqi & A. Rahman Beg 26735 (K, RAW); S.A. Harriss 16785 (K); J. F. Duthie 13992, 13613 (K); C.B. Clarke 31250 (K); Hassan ud Din 15 (K); R.R. Stewart 26673 (K).