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Pakistan | Family List | Poaceae | Piptatherum

Piptatherum baluchistanicum Freitag in Notes R. Bot. Gdn Edinb. 33: 389. 1975.

Small tufted perennial; culms 12-50(-60) cm high. Leaf-blades flat or rolled, 5-15 cm long, 1-2.5 mm wide, greyish, densely hairy on the upper surface, papillose to tuberculate beneath. Panicle lax, 5-15(-20) cm long, the branches ascending or spreading, the longest scarcely half the length of the panicle. Spikelets ovate, 4.5-7.5 mm long; lemma ovate, (3.2-)3.5-4.5 mm long, acute at the tip, hairy except at the apex and the lower part of the back, the hairs white, 0.2-0.3 mm long; awn 2-4 mm long, shortly exserted from the glumes, terminal, deciduous; anthers 2-2.5 mm long, their tips bearded.

Fl. & Fr. Per.: May-June

Type: Pakistan, Lace 3780 (K,E).

Distribution: Pakistan (Baluchistan & N.W.F.P.); southeast Afghanistan.

A rather rare species very similar to Piptatherum munroi and doubtfully really distinct at species level. The mature lemma is slightly broader with pale hairs and the awn only exceeds the glume tips by up to 3 mm. It is a smaller plant than Piptatherum munroi and of a more distinctly xerophytic character occuring mainly in the juniper belt between 1700 and 2700 m. More collections are needed before its true status can be known for sure. Specimens from N.W.F.P., if correctly allocated to this species, are an extension to the range given by Freitag. Their characters are less markedly xerophytic but they are otherwise typical of Piptatherum baluchistanicum in being of small stature with an open panicle and having short terminal awns.


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