constipata (L.) = crowded together, referring to the male and female spikelets, clustered together in the capitate inflorescences.
WCM Protologue Reference:
H.P.Linder, Bothalia 40: 27 (2010)
Vegetative parts: plants clumped or mat-Forming or tangled (forming dense cushions among boulders), 0.2–0.5 m tall, basal diameter 0.5–1 m, crown diameter 0.5–1 m, with stolons. Fertile culms sparingly branched or branching, smooth, green or olivaceous, 0.2–0.5 m tall, diameter at base 0.8–2 mm, diameter at apex 0.5–1.5 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 10–25 mm long, dark brown, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acuminate or acute. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect, 2–10 mm long.
Males: male inflorescence with 1 spikelet (Very rarely, in the Swartberg) or 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets, globose (forming a tight button), 8–25 mm long, 7–25 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, as tall as spikelets, coriaceous, rather similar to the lower bracts. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, oblong or elliptical, apex rounded or obtuse, 7–12 mm, 3–6 mm, with 3–10 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts taller than flowers, 5.5–10 mm long, oblong, acuminate, cartilaginous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn less than half as long as the bract body. Male flower 4.5–5 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, hyaline or membranous, linear or oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel sparsely villous. Anthers 2–3 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode absent.
Females: female inflorescence globose (Forming a tight button), 10–25 mm long, 3–25 mm wide, with 1 spikelet (rarely, then mostly at the western and eastern extremes of the range) or 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets. Female spathes as long as the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile, elliptical, apex obtuse or acute, 10–20 mm long, with 5–15 flowers, with 4–5 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers, erect or reflexed, 5.5–10 mm long, oblong, acuminate, cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn less than half as long as the bract body. Female flower 5–6.5 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous, keels of lateral sepals sparsely villous, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 5–6.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 5–6.5 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 5–6.5 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles feathery, white, 2. Style bases free (but adjacent). Ovary with 2 locules, dehiscent.
Fruit: seed 1.3–1.5 mm long, 1 mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter round in cross section, silvery, pitted.