fenestratus (L.) = window, loopholes, a breach. The reason for this is not known.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Pillans, Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 16: 338 (1928)
Vegetative parts: plants clumped, 0.8–2.2 m tall, basal diameter 0.5–3 m, crown diameter 0.5–3 m, with rhizomes. Rhizome spreading, unbranched or sparsely branched, culms evenly spaced, 6–10 mm in diam., culms 5–23 mm apart. Fertile culms unbranched, compressed, solid or with a small central cavity, smooth or finely rugulose, olivaceous, 0.8–2.2 m tall, diameter at base 4–5 mm, diameter at apex 2–3 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, 45–70 mm long, margins entire, dark brown, sometimes with speckles, tan margins, upper 1/3 in colour and texture abruptly different from the base, and soon decaying, apical margins coriaceous, like the rest of the body, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, obtuse. Sheath-mucro absent or penicellate, straight and erect, 1–1.5 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 50–100 spikelets or 101–500 spikelets or 501 and more spikelets, paniculate, 50–200 mm long, 25–35 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes caducous, taller than spikelets, cartilaginous. Male spathellae conspicuous, 6–20 mm long (either narrowly or broadly ovate). Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 3–4.5 mm, 2.5–4.5 mm, with 3–5 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets (thus leading to a very dense cluster of spikelets forming the inflorescence), flattened. Male bracts shorter than flowers, 1–1.5 mm long, orbicular (wrapped around the base of the flower), rounded (with lacerated margins), cartilaginous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent. Male flower 2–3 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, cartilaginous, oblong or elliptical, inner tepals longer than outer tepals. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, glabrous. Anthers 1–1.2 mm long, included in the flowers. Females: female inflorescence interrupted or linear, 50–250 mm long, 20–30 mm wide, with 21–50 spikelets or 51–100 spikelets or 101–500 spikelets. Female spathes longer than the spikelets, not obscuring spikelet or obscuring spikelet, persistent or caducous, cartilaginous. Female spathellae conspicuous, 5–15 mm long (both narrowly and broadly ovate/elliptical spathellae are present). Female spikelet pedicel sparsely branching, obovate or undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 2.5–3.5 mm long, with 3–5 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers, erect, 1–1.3 mm long, ovate or orbicular, rounded or obtuse, cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 1.5–2.5 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 (partially obscuring), midrib raised, margins entire, apices obtuse or acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, hidden by bracts, or bracts are shorter than flowers, 1.5–2.2 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 1.5–2.2 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 1.5–2.2 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 or wall tuberculate, (1.8–)1.85(–1.92) mm long, (0.8–)0.95(–1.12) mm diam., shape in side view obovate, shape in top view elliptical in cross section, brown. Elaiosome absent.