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a genus of perennial herbaceous plants of the family Gramineae. The inflorescence is a panicle that is sometimes almost spicate. The spikelet bears a single bisexual flower. There are 15 to 20 species, found in the temperate and subtropical belts of Eurasia, northern Africa, and North America. The USSR has six species. The most common is A. splendens (formerly Lasiagrostis splendens), which usually grows in steppes and semideserts on more or less saline soil. The plant also occurs on rocky and debris-strewn slopes. It often forms large clumps. A. splendens grows in the southern Urals, along the lower Volga, in southern Siberia, and in Middle Asia (except the Karakum and Kopetdag). A grazing plant, it is eaten by animals before spike formation. The plant can also be used as hay.