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Perennial loosely tufted with short rhizomes or fusiform tuberoid roots. Culms erect or weakly geniculate at base, 40–80 cm tall, smooth, glabrous, clothed at base with 2 to 4 pale-brownish cataphylls. Leaf-sheaths 6–12 cm long, usually longer than the internode, mid-nerve prominent, pale green, glabrous or pubescent on lower part and margins. Ligules membranous, 0.5–0.7 mm long, truncate, ciliolate at the margins. Leaf-blades 8–25 by 1.5–5 cm, ovate-lanceolate, pseudo-petiole, 5–12 mm long, chartaceous, glabrous, with prominent cross nerves, light green, base round gradually tapering above to a short-acuminate apex. Inflorescence a loose panicle, 15–30 by 6–10 cm, elliptic in outline, of narrowly racemose branches, 10–20 cm long. Spikelets 7–10 by 1.2–1.5 mm, bottle-shaped or ovate-lanceolate in outline, erect-patent, lanceolate, weakly laterally flattened, greenish, glabrous or sparsely haired, bearing 1 fertile and 3–7 sterile florets; pedicels short, 0.5–1 mm, with a tuft of hairs at the tip. Lower glume oblong, 3–3.5 mm long, 5-nerved, with a few cross-nerves, coriaceous, glabrous or pilose margin membranous, apex emucronate. Upper glume oblong, 4.7–5 mm long, 7-nerved, apex obtuse. Lower floret bisexual. Lower lemma oblong, 7–7.5 mm long, 7- nerved, chartaceous, apex with a retrorsely scabrid awn, margins ciliolate towards apex. Palea as long as the lemma, membranous, 2-keeled; keel narrowly winged above the middle part. Lodicules 2, cuneate. Ovary ovoid; stigmas plumose yellow or dark purple. Stamens 2. Upper florets reduced and sterile. Upper lemmas successively clasping, the awns, 1–1.5 mm long, retrorsly scabrid, forming a small tuft.

Thailand.— NORTHEASTERN: Loei [Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary, 29 Aug. 1968, Bunchuai 1732 (K); Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary, 16 Nov. 1968, Chermsiriwatthana 1110 (BK); Phu Kradueng, 13 Sept. 1990, Chantaranothai et al. 90/194 (K)]; Nong Khai [Phon Pisai, 19 Nov. 1963, Pradit 716 (BK)]; EASTERN: Chaiyaphum [Chulaporn Dam, 5Aug. 1972, Larsen 31465 (K)]; Nakhon Ratchasima [Katok, 30 Dec. 1923, Kerr 8167 (BK); Lat Bao Khao, 7 Nov. 1931, Put 4318 (K); KhaoYai National Park, 30 Oct. 1970, Larsen 4274 (K); 22 Oct. 1971, van Beusekom et al. 3863 (K); KhaoYai National Park, 12Aug 1974, Maxwell 74– 802 (BK)]; SOUTHEASTERN: Prachin Buri, Arun Pratet, 17 Oct. 1928, Put 1990 (BK, K)]; Chon Buri [Khao Khieo, 20 July 1963, Larsen 10662 (K); Khao Khieo, Sriracha, 29 Aug. 1976, Maxwell 76–623 (BK)]; Chanthaburi [Chanthaburi, 20 Dec. 1924, Kerr 9722 (BK, K)]; Trat [Ko Chang, 26 Sept. 1924, Kerr 9191 (BK); PENINSULAR: Ranong [Khao Pawta Luang Kaeo, 2 Feb. 1929, Kerr 16964 (BK, K)]; Surat Thani [Kanchanadit, 1Aug. 1927, Kerr 13097 (BK, K)]; Nakhon Si Thammarat [Lan Saka, 18 May 1971, Sadakorn 253 (BK)]; Trang [Khao Soi Dao, 28April 1930, Kerr 19178 (BK, K); Thale Song Hong, 27 Jan. 1958, SØrensen et al. 736 (K)]; Satun [Kuan Kalong, 15 Oct. 1970, Charoenphol et al. 3288 (K)]; Songkhla [Khao Khieo, 27 July 1918, Kerr 16005 (K)]; Narathiwat [Bacho district, 18 Dec. 1968, Sangkhachand 1584 (BK); Tak Bai, Ku Chum, 14 Sept. 1987, Niyomdham & Sriboonma 1603 (K)].

Distribution.— India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Myanmar, Indo-China and Malesia. Ecology.— Shady understory of dry evergreen and bamboo forests and river bank. Use.— This species is used as a fodder plant.

Vernacular.— Phai pen lek (ÅnÁ }Á®¨È) (Trang); ai lek mai phai (Å°oÁ®¨ÈŤoÅn), ya phai (®oµÅn) (Peninsular); ya khui mai phai (®oµ»¥Å¤oÅn).

Note.— L. gracile is a remarkable grass with one fertile and several sterile florets which are prominent with tufted, retrorsely scabrid awns that serve as dispersal agents.

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