Nephelochloa altaica (Trin.) Griseb.
Tufted annual; culms 5-45 cm high, erect or ascending. Leaf-blades 2-10 cm long, 1-4 mm wide, scabrid above, smooth or scabrid beneath; ligule 1-2.5 mm long. Panicle narrowly to broadly ovate, 3-20 cm long, moderately dense to very loose, the branches in subwhorls and capillary to rather stiff. Spikelets 3.5-6.5 mm long, 2-6-flowered; lower glume lanceolate, acute, 1-2 mm long; upper glume narrowly ovate, acute or subacute, 1.5-2.5 mm long; lemmas ovate-elliptic, 2.5-3.5(-4.5) mm long, abruptly acute to long acuminate, glabrous or minutely hairy on the keel and marginal nerves below, scaberulous on the back; anthers 0.3-0.7 (-1) mm long.
Fl. & Fr. Per.: May-August.
Type: USSR, Altai, Bunge (LE).
Distribution: Pakistan (Baluchistan, N.W.F.P., Gilgit & Kashmir); throughout the Middle East from Turkey and the Caucasus mountains eastward through Afghanistan and the Himalayas to western China, southern Urals and Altai.
All three subspecies of Eremopoa altaica listed by Tzvelev are represented in Pakistan, but only one of them is at all common. Subsp. oxyglumis (Boils.) Tzvelev has longer anthers (0.6-1 mm) and hairs on the lemma keel and marginal nerves. Probable examples from our area are Toppin 239, Stewart 27948 and Lamond 1137. Subsp. altaica is a small plant (rarely exceeding 15 cm) with long lemmas (3.5-4.5mm). Giles 25 from Gilgit may be referable to this subspecies. All remain¬ing material seems to correspond to subsp. songarica (Schrenk) Tzvelev (Eremopoa persica var. songarica (Schrenk) Bor, Grasses Burma Ceyl. Ind. Pak. 532. 1960; Bor in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 70:49. 1970)