Esterhuysen, E.E. = the foremost collector from the Cape mountains, who made Restionaceae her speciality. She collected actively from 1930 to 1990, and contributed more to our knowledge of the Cape flora than any other collector. Her meticulous collections, assembled to reflect the distribution range and morphological variability of each species, are currently housed at the Bolus Herbarium.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Pillans, Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 30: 259 (1945)
Vegetative parts: plants clumped or mat-Forming, 0.2–0.4 m tall, basal diameter 0.3–1 m, crown diameter 0.3–3 m, with rhizomes. Rhizome spreading, unbranched or sparsely branched, culms evenly spaced, 3–4 mm in diam., culms 5–15 mm apart. Fertile culms unbranched, round (not compressed), solid or with a small central cavity, smooth or finely rugulose, green or olivaceous, 0.18–0.5 m tall, diameter at base 1.2–2 mm, diameter at apex 1–1.8 mm. Clusters of sterile branches at the nodes of the fertile branches absent. Sheaths more than 1 per culm, dropping off, with an abscission line present, loosely convoluted, 30–60 mm long, margins entire, light to reddish-brown with tan margins, upper 1/3 in colour and texture similar to the lower 2/3, apical margins narrowly membranous or broadly membranous, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect, 1–2.5 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 11–20 spikelets or 21–50 spikelets, paniculate, 40–80 mm long, 10–15 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes caducous, taller than spikelets, chartaceous or cartilaginous. Male spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 6–8 mm, 4–5 mm, with 2–4 flowers, pedicels as long as the spikelets, terete or angular. Male bracts shorter than flowers, 0.4–0.6 mm long, ovate, acute, chartaceous or membranous, bract upper margin membranous, thinner texture than the body or like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent, minute. Male flower 3.5–4 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals (slightly), chartaceous, petals membranous, ovate (narrowly), inner tepals longer than outer tepals. Male outer lateral tepals as other tepals, glabrous. Anthers 1.5–2 mm long, included in the flowers. Females: female inflorescence linear, 30–70 mm long, 8–15 mm wide, with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets. Female spathes longer than the spikelets, obscuring spikelet, persistent, cartilaginous. Female spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Female spikelet pedicel simple, undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 5–8 mm long, with 1 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers, erect, 1–1.3 mm long, ovate (with a very wide base), acute or acuminate, chartaceous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 5–8 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 acute or acuminate, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 5–7 mm long. Female odd outer tepal ovate (narrowly), 5–7 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 5–7 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 1 locule, indehiscent. Fruit: indehiscent fruits with a softer ovary wall. Nut apex smooth, without a distinct cap, wall smooth, (2.4–)2.73(–3.2) mm long, (1.04–)1.17(–1.28) mm diam., shape in side view elliptical, shape in top view round in cross section, tan. Elaiosome absent.