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Kobresia Willd.


Description from Flora of China

Herbs, perennial. Rhizomes usually very short, sometimes obliquely and shortly creeping, rarely stoloniferous and spreading. Stems usually tufted, rarely scattered. Leaves basal or sub-basal; basal leaf sheaths persistent and usually prominent; blade with midrib not distinct abaxially (margin involute, sometimes filiform), or with midrib distinct abaxially (flat, sometimes folded). Inflorescence terminal, paniculate to spicate, sometimes unisexual; lowest involucral bract leafy or glumelike, sheathless; branches of inflorescence sessile. Spikelets subtended by glumes, unisexual or bisexual; bisexual spikelets with 1 female flower at base and 1 to several male flowers at distal parts enclosed by prophylls; unisexual spikelets with a solitary female flower within prophylls. Sterile rachilla in female spikelet usually present. Flowers unisexual. Female flowers reduced to naked pistils; ovary 2- or 3-carpellate; style elongated; stigmas 2 or 3. Male flowers subtended by male glumes; stamens 1-3; filaments free, longer than glumes, slender; male glumes usually distinct in shape from glumes of female spikelets. Nutlets trigonous or flattened, usually included in prophylls, beaked or not, stipitate or not.

About 54 species: mainly in temperate regions of the N Hemisphere; 44 species (16 endemic, one unconfirmed) in China.

(Authors: Zhang Shuren (张树仁); Henry J. Noltie)


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