Alpine Cat Tail
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Alpine Cat Tail
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Alpine Cat Tail, Alpine timothy
Botanical name: Phleum alpinum    Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Phleum capitatum, Plantinia alpina, Phleum commutatum

Alpine Cat Tail is a loosely tufted, perennial grass. Stems (stems) are 5-50 cm high, erect or ascending. Leaf-blades is up to 17 cm long and 8 mm wide, the upper shorter than the lower, hairless. Upper sheaths are slightly inflated, ligule up to 2 mm long, obtuse. Flowers are borne in 1-5 cm long, 7-15 mm wide, broadly cylindrical to ovoid, usually purplish spikes. Spikelets are 3-55 mm long (including awns); glumes are truncate, stiffly ciliate on the keel, scabrid on the sides, the lower softly hairy on the margins; awn 1-3(-4) mm long, glabrous or ciliate; lemma two-thirds the length of the glumes, 3-5-nerved, minutely hairy on the nerves; anthers 1-1.5 mm long. Alpine Cat Tail is found in wet alpine meadows, damp soil around bushes, riversides in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 2500-3900 m. This grass is found worldwide. Flowering: July-September.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand.
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