fistula (L.) = tube, or water pipe. Referring to the hollow culms typical of this species.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Mast., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 10: 274 (1869)
Vegetative parts: plants clumped or tufted, 0.3-1.5 m tall, basal diameter 0.3-1 m, crown diameter 1-2 m, with rhizomes. Rhizome spreading, unbranched or sparsely branched, culms evenly spaced, 7-10 mm in diam., culms 2-10 mm apart. Fertile culms unbranched, round (not compressed) or compressed after pressing, distinctly hollow, smooth, green, 0.3-1.5 m tall, diameter at base 4-5.5 mm, diameter at apex 2.75-3.5 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 20-55 mm long, margins ciliate, coloured as culm or brown, generally darker in the upper portions., upper 1/3 in colour and texture abruptly different from the base, and soon decaying, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute or obtuse. Sheath-mucro absent or penicellate, straight and erect, 5 mm long, cilia to 2 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 11-20 spikelets, paniculate, 60-90 mm long, 15-40 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes caducous, taller than spikelets, cartilaginous, red brown with fimbriated margins. Male flowers in spikelets or not aggregated into spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, oblong or undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 10-20 mm, 6-9 mm, with 20-40 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile or shorter than the spikelets, terete or angular. Male bracts taller than flowers, 10-15 mm long, linear, acute, membranous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent, pale straw-coloured. Male flower 5-8 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, membranous, linear or elliptical, inner tepals shorter than outer tepals. Male outer lateral tepals as other tepals, glabrous. Anthers 2.5-3.5 mm long, included in the flowers. Females: female inflorescence linear, 45-100 mm long, 10-15 mm wide, with 2-5 spikelets. Female spathes longer than the spikelets, obscuring spikelet, persistent (do not drop off, but upper portions decay revealing the spikelets.), cartilaginous. Female spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Female spikelet sessile, obovate, apex rounded, 8-15 mm long, with 1 flowers. Female bracts taller than flowers, erect, 8-10 mm long, acuminate, cartilaginous or membranous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, margins entire, awn minute or absent. Female flower 3-5 mm long, without 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 rounded or obtuse or acute, inner whorl shorter than outer. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals, hidden by bracts, or bracts are shorter than flowers, 3-5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal ovate, 3-5 mm long. Female inner tepals square, 2-3 mm long. Styles 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 tuberculate, 6-6.5 mm long, 4-5 mm diam., shape in side view oblong, shape in top view round in cross section, brown or black, mode of seed release for nutted plants bracts decay. Elaiosome absent.