parthenocarpus (Gk.) = Producing seed or fruit without fertilization.
WCM Protologue Reference:
H.P.Linder, Bothalia 40: 30 (2010)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.25–0.4 m tall, basal diameter 0.02–0.2 m, crown diameter 0.15–0.3 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms sparingly branched, smooth or finely warty or finely rugulose, olivaceous, 0.25–0.4 m tall, diameter at base 0.9–1.4 mm, diameter at apex 0.7–0.9 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 13–20 mm long, brown, apical margins coriaceous, like the rest of the body, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute. Sheath-mucro awl- or needleshaped, straight and erect, 3–8 mm long. Reproductive system with only females known.
Females: female inflorescence linear, 10–35 mm long, 3–10 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes like floral bracts, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile, oblong or elliptical or ovate, apex rounded or acute, 10–15 mm long, with 2–3 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers, 10–13 mm long, ovate, acute, coriaceous or 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 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals coriaceous or chartaceous, keels of lateral sepals densely villous, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute or acuminate, inner whorl shorter than outer. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 5–5.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal ovate, 4–4.5 mm long. Female inner tepals ovate, 3 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles feathery, pink or red, 2. Style bases fused to form a pillar, more or less villous. Ovary with 2 locules, dehiscent.
Fruit: seed 1.9–2.1 mm long, 1.2–1.3 mm in diameter, shape in side view oblong, shape in diameter round in cross section or elliptical in cross section, silvery, pitted.