acuminatus (L.) = tapering from inwardly curved sides into a narrow point.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Pillans, Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 29: 349 (1942)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.2–0.5 m tall, basal diameter 0.05–0.2 m, crown diameter 0.1–0.4 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms unbranched, velvety pubescent, silvery-gray, 0.2–0.4 m tall, diameter at base 1.24–2.8 mm, diameter at apex 0.1–0.5 mm. Clusters of sterile branches at the nodes of the fertile branches present. Sterile branches present while flowering. Sheaths closely convoluted, 70–100 mm long, tan, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute. Sheath-mucro absent, papery sheaths, overlapping, completely obscuring the culm. Sterile branch leaf-sheath 2–5 mm long, hyaline shoulder 2–3 mm long, lacerated, leaf-blade 5.5–6 mm long; leaf blade 0.2–0.4 mm wide (becoming lacerated, giving a fluffy appearance to the plant). Males: male inflorescence with 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets, paniculate, 20–50 mm long, 15–50 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, upper margins lacerated and largely decayed at anthesis, shorter than spikelets, chartaceous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets pendulous on flexible pedicels, elliptical or obovate, apex rounded, 15–30 mm, 10–20 mm, with 8–30 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets, flattened. Male bracts more than twice as tall as flowers, 6–16 mm long, oblong, acute, hyaline or chartaceous or membranous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent, strikingly bright coloured bracts. Male flower 3.5–5 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, chartaceous, petals membranous, oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals keeled or winged, glabrous. Anthers 2.2–2.5 mm long, included in the flowers. Pistillode absent. Females: female inflorescence racemose, 40–70 mm long, 30–40 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes as long as the spikelets, persistent, membranous. Female spikelet pedicel simple, obovate or obtriangular, apex truncate or rounded, 20–35 mm long, with 16–45 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts at least twice as long as flowers, 15–30 mm long, oblong, acute, hyaline, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 6–8 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals chartaceous, glabrous and smooth, at least as tall as nut, wrapped around it and obscuring the surface, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute or acuminate, inner and outer whorls the same length or inner whorl shorter than outer. Female outer lateral tepals keeled or winged, wings entire, wings lateral sepals decurrent, without grooves, wider than body, exserted past bracts and overlapping with one another, 6–8 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 5.5–6.5 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 5.5–6 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles plumose, white, 1. Ovary with 1 locule, indehiscent. Fruit: indehiscent fruits with a softer ovary wall. Perianth presence on fruits persistent, winged. Shape of winged dispersal unit orbicular. Nut apex smooth, without a distinct cap, wall smooth, 1.68–2.5 mm long, 1.22–1.7 mm diam., shape in side view oblong, shape in top view elliptical in cross section, brown (dark). Elaiosome absent.