Siberian Needlegrass
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Siberian Needlegrass
P Native Photo: Sunit Singh
Common name: Siberian Needlegrass • Hindi: शुई घास Shui Ghas
Botanical name: Achnatherum sibiricum    Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Achnatherum avenoides, Avena sibirica, Stipa sibirica

Siberian Needlegrass is a perennial, loosely clustered grass with scaly buds at base. Stems are erect, 60-150 cm tall, 1.7-3 mm in diam., smooth, 3-4-noded. Leaf sheaths are smooth, lower longer than internodes; leaf blades usually convolute, occasionally flat, 20-60 cm, 3-7 mm wide, lower surface smooth, upper surface rough, sometimes also hairy, tip finely tapering; ligule flat, 0.5-2 mm. Flower panicle are contracted, often dense, 10-30; branches 3 to several per node, nearly erect or narrowly rising up, with spikelets to base. Spikelets are 7-10 mm, yellowish green or purple; glumes subequal, elliptic-oblong, 3-veined, smooth or scaberulous, often rough-spinulose on midvein, tip pointed or finely toothed; callus pointed, 0.5-1 mm; lemma narrowly lanceshaped, leathery, 5-8 mm, densely hairy. Awn is persistent, 1.5-2.5 cm, column twisted, minutely bristlyulous, bristle rough. Siberian Needlegrass is found grassy mountain slopes, on forest fringes, roadsides, from Siberia, south to the Himalayas, at altitudes of 600-3400 m. In Kashmir is it locally used for making ropes, mats, etc. Flowering: July-September.

Identification credit: Sunit Singh Photographed in Darori, Doda, J&K.

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