scirpus (L.) = rush, + oides = like. Suggesting that the plant is rush-like.
WCM Protologue Reference:
(Kunth) Mast., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 10: 236 (1868)
Vegetative parts: plants clumped or tufted, 0.5-1.5 m tall, basal diameter 0.2-0.5 m, crown diameter 0.5-1 m, with rhizomes. Rhizome very short with culms aggregated at base or spreading, unbranched or sparsely branched, culms evenly spaced, 2-7 mm in diam., culms 3-9 mm apart. Fertile culms unbranched, smooth or finely rugulose, green or olivaceous, 0.5-1.5 m tall, diameter at base 2-4.5 mm, diameter at apex 1-2.5 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 25-50 mm long, margins entire or ciliate, dark brown, almost red., apical margins narrowly membranous or broadly chartaceous and soon decaying, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acuminate or acute. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect, 3-5 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 21-50 spikelets or 50-100 spikelets or 101-500 spikelets, paniculate, 70-200 mm long, 10-25 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes caducous, taller than spikelets, coriaceous or cartilaginous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, oblong or ovate or orbicular, apex rounded or obtuse or acute, 3-8 mm, 2-7 mm, with 5-30 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets or as long as the spikelets, terete or angular or flattened. Male bracts as tall as flowers or taller than flowers, 1.5-4 mm long, ovate, acute or acuminate, cartilaginous or membranous, bract upper margin membranous, thinner texture than the body, bract awn minute or absent or less than half as long as the bract body. Male flower 2-2.5 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity or sepals more rigid than petals, cartilaginous, petals membranous, oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, glabrous. Anthers 1.5-2 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Females: female inflorescence linear, 40-130 mm long, 6-15 mm wide, with 2-5 spikelets. Female spathes longer than the spikelets, obscuring spikelet, persistent, coriaceous. Female spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Female spikelet sessile, elliptical, apex acute, 16-23 mm long, with 1-2 flowers, with 3-5 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers, erect, 10-17 mm long, ovate, acute or acuminate, bony or coriaceous, apical margin membranous, same as body of bract, awn less than half as long as the bract body. Female flower with a fleshy pedicel, six tepals. Female tepals membranous, glabrous and smooth, smaller than nut and not obscuring the nut surface, midrib flush with the tepal body, margins entire, apices variable, inner and outer whorls the same length or inner whorl shorter than outer. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals, hidden by bracts, or bracts are shorter than flowers, 0.2-1 mm long. Female odd outer tepal broad-based, with small, variable lobe, 0.2-1 mm long. Female inner tepals broad-based, with small, variable lobe, 0.5-1 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles plumose, 2. Style bases free. Ovary with 1 locule, indehiscent. Fruit: indehiscent fruits with a hard woody ovary wall. Perianth presence on fruits persistent, membranous, shorter than nut. Nut apex smooth, without a distinct cap, wall smooth, (6.83-)8.55(-11) mm long, (3-)3.49(-3.92) mm diam., shape in side view oblong, shape in top view planoconvex in cross section, black. Elaiosome present, white, 1.8 mm long, less than half as long as nut.