a type of grassy vegetation of mountainous countries. High-altitude grasses are distributed primarily in the subalpine belt; however, they also appear in the mountain-forest belt and the alpine belt. They are characteristic of the Caucasus, where they grow best at altitudes of 1,600 to 1,800 m. These grasses are distinguished by their uncommonly large size, reaching 2 to 4 m in height, by the color of their many formations during blooming, the absence of grassy turf, and often by the development of ephemeroids. The high-altitude grasses are not rich in species, and the species widely distributed only in the high-altitude grasses number only about 20. Various species of Heracleum, Archangelica, Chaerophyllum, Torilis, Telekia, Senecio, Campanula, and other genera are typical of them. Separate plots of these grasses most often contain one or two species, but groups more complex in composition are also found. High-altitude grasses grow under conditions of high humidity and soil moisture. They are also found in the Himalayas, in the Altai, in the Saian, in the southern part of the Far East, and particularly the island of Sakhalin. Sometimes secondary grasses, called high-altitude grasses, develop in flat country, for example, in forest clearings owing to strong manuring of the soil after pasturing of cattle.
A. A. URANOV