Karoo = arid interior part of southern Africa. This species is found along the margins of the Little Karoo.
WCM Protologue Reference:
H.P.Linder, S. African J. Bot. 56: 450 (1990)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 1–2 m tall, basal diameter 0.1–0.4 m, crown diameter 0.4–1 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms unbranched, smooth, olivaceous, 1–2 m tall, diameter at base 2–3 mm, diameter at apex 1–2 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 20–50 mm long, reddish-brown, apical margins broadly chartaceous and soon decaying, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute. Sheath-mucro absent or penicellate, straight and erect, 0.3 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 21–50 spikelets, paniculate, 50–300 mm long, 30–90 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, oblong, apex rounded, 10–20 mm, 4–6 mm, with 22–34 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets, flattened. Male bracts taller than flowers, 3.5–7 mm long, oblong or ovate, acute, hyaline (narrow margins) or chartaceous (main body), bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent, dark brown with hyaline margins. Male flower 2.5–3.5 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, chartaceous, linear or oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals keeled or winged, glabrous. Anthers 1.5–1.8 mm long, included in the flowers. Pistillode absent. Females: female inflorescence linear or paniculate or racemose, 100–350 mm long, 10–40 mm wide, with 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets or 21–50 spikelets. Female spathes longer than the spikelets, not obscuring spikelet, persistent, chartaceous. Female spikelet pedicel simple or pedicel sparsely branching, oblong, apex rounded, 15–30 mm long, with 22–46 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts at least twice as long as flowers, 8–15 mm long, oblong, acute, hyaline (about half of width) or chartaceous (centre), apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 3.5–4.7 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous, glabrous and smooth, at least as tall as nut, wrapped around it and obscuring the surface, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals keeled or winged, wings entire, wings lateral sepals decurrent, without grooves, wider than body, exserted past bracts, 4–4.7 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 2.8–4 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 3.5–4 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 (but rough with tuberculate cells), 1.6–2.5 mm long, 1.6–2 mm diam., shape in side view oblong, shape in top view elliptical in cross section, brown. Elaiosome absent.