alte (L.) = high up, + genero (L.) = to beget. Suggesting that this species was produced at a high altitude.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Pillans, Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 30: 257 (1945)
Vegetative parts: fertile culms unbranched, Round (not compressed), smooth or finely rugulose, olivaceous, diameter at base 1–2 mm, diameter at apex 1–1.5 mm. Clusters of sterile branches at the nodes of the fertile branches absent. Sheaths more than 1 per culm, persistent, with no abscission line, no sheaths available on herbarium specimens. Males: male inflorescence with 11–20 spikelets or 21–50 spikelets, paniculate, 35–70 mm long, 6–15 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, taller than spikelets, cartilaginous. Male spathellae conspicuous, 6–14 mm long. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 1.5–2.5 mm, 1.5–2.5 mm, with 2 flowers, pedicels as long as the spikelets or longer than the spikelets, terete or angular. Male bracts shorter than flowers, 1.4–1.6 mm long, orbicular, rounded, chartaceous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent. Male flower 2–2.5 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, cartilaginous, oblong, inner tepals longer than outer tepals. Male outer lateral tepals as other tepals, glabrous. Anthers 1.5–1.7 mm long, included in the flowers. Females: female inflorescence interrupted or linear, 35–70 mm long, 6–10 mm wide, with 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets. Female spathes longer than the spikelets, obscuring spikelet, persistent, cartilaginous. Female spathellae conspicuous (although obscured by spathes and so not really an obvious feature. They are also not very numerous/ dense as there are relatively few spikelets), 5–10 mm long. Female spikelet pedicel simple or pedicel sparsely branching, undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 3.5–4 mm long, with 1 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers, erect, 0.5–0.6 mm long, ovate, acute, cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 3–4 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel, six tepals. Female tepals cartilaginous, glabrous and smooth, at least as tall as nut, wrapped around it and obscuring the surface, midrib raised, margins entire, apices rounded or acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 2.7–4 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 2.7–4 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 2.7–3.7 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 1 locule, indehiscent. Fruit: indehiscent fruits with a softer ovary wall. Perianth presence on fruits persistent, papery to leathery, not winged. Nut apex smooth, without a distinct cap, wall smooth or wall tuberculate, (2.52–)2.91(–3.2) mm long, (1.16–)1.25(–1.32) mm diam., shape in side view elliptical, shape in top view elliptical in cross section, brown. Elaiosome absent. #