Loonder Grass
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Loonder Grass
P Native Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Loonder Grass • Hindi: Loonder
Botanical name: Themeda anathera    Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Androscepia anathera, Anthistiria anathera

Loonder Grass is a densely clumped perennial grass with creeping rhizome; stems 30-120 cm high, erect or geniculately rising up. Leaf-blades are flat, up to 30 cm long and 4 mm wide. False panicles are 20-30 cm long, compound, loose, the racemes solitary or paired; spatheole 1.5-2 cm long, usually tinged with grey, red or purple, hairless; raceme containing 2-4 fertile spikelets. Homogamous pairs separated by a short intemode 03-1 mm long; lower glume lanceshaped, 5-8 mm long, hairless to sparsely or densely tuberculate-fringed with hairs. Sessile spikelet 5-7 mm long, dorsally compressed, with a blunt bearded callus c.l mm long; lower glume finely velvet-hairy or nearly hairless to tuberculate-fringed with hairs especially on the keels; upper lemma lanceshaped, hyaline, awnless. Stalked spikelet 6-8 mm long including the callus, finely velvet-hairy to tuberculate-fringed with hairs on the keels. Loonder Grass is found in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir eastwards through the western Himalayas and Nepal, at altitudes of 700-2300 m. Flowering: June-October.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma, P.V. Sreekumar Photographed in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.

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