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Stems tufted, 8 to 12 ft or more high, 1⁄3 to 3⁄5 in. in diameter, at first glaucous green and white-scurfy, afterwards shining yellow; branches several at the joints, reddish. Stem-sheaths leaving a persistent cup-like base, straw-coloured, loose, with a ring of soft hairs at the base, sparsely stiffly hairy above, tipped with a short subulate blade. Leaf-blades in groups of two to three, oblong-lanceolate, 21⁄4 to 41⁄2 in. long, 2⁄5 to 2⁄3 in. wide, hairless or faintly hairy beneath, with three to five pairs of secondary nerves; leaf-sheaths bearing a few (six to eight) stiff purple bristles at the tip.
Native of the N.E. Himalaya (Sikkim and Bhutan), where it grows at elevations of 9,000 to 10,000 ft. Related to A. spathiflora, differing in size, habit, and in the structure of the spikelets. Suitable only for cultivation in the milder parts of the British Isles. It flowered in 1950–1.