Galpin, E.E., a banker and naturalist, collected widely in South Africa from 1881 to 1940, mostly in the summer-rainfall parts of the country. His collections formed the nucleus of what eventually became the National Herbarium in Pretoria.
WCM Protologue Reference:
N.E.Br., Fl. Cap. 7: 754 (1900)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted or mat-Forming, 1.5–2 m tall, basal diameter 1–4 m, crown diameter 1–4 m, with rhizomes. Rhizome long and slender, with culms clustered, each culm cluster with a number of diverging rhizomes, 2–4 mm in diam. Fertile culms unbranched, round (not compressed), solid or with a small central cavity, finely rugulose, olivaceous, 1.5–2 m tall, diameter at base 2.5–4 mm, diameter at apex 1.5–2.5 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, 40–55 mm long, margins entire, dark brown tending to black; margins red-brown to golden, upper 1/3 in colour and texture similar to the lower 2/3, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect, 1 mm long, lighter in colour towards distal portion. Males: male inflorescence with 50–100 spikelets, paniculate, 100–180 mm long (recorded by Pillans as being 1–3 dm in length), 20–25 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes caducous, taller than spikelets, cartilaginous. Male spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, oblong or ovate, apex undifferentiated, 3.5–5 mm, 2–3 mm, with 8–12 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets, terete or angular. Male bracts shorter than flowers, 0.25–0.5 mm long, orbicular, rounded, cartilaginous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent, closely convoluted and punctate (Pillans). Male flower 1.5–2 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, cartilaginous, ovate, inner tepals longer than outer tepals. Male outer lateral tepals keeled or winged or as other tepals, glabrous. Anthers 0.75–1.25 mm long, included in the flowers. Females: female inflorescence interrupted or linear, 120–350 mm long, 10–30 mm wide, with 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets or 21–50 spikelets. Female spathes longer than the spikelets, not obscuring spikelet, caducous, cartilaginous. Female spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Female spikelet pedicel sparsely branching, undifferentiated, apex rounded, 4–6 mm long, with 3–10 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers, erect, 1.5–2 mm long, ovate, acute, cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 2–3 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, inner whorl longer than outer. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals, hidden by bracts, or bracts are shorter than flowers, 2–3 mm long. Female odd outer tepal ovate, 2–3 mm long. Female inner tepals ovate, 1–2 mm long. Styles feathery, 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 pitted, (1.48–)2.02(–2.92) mm long, (0.72–)1.38(–2.28) mm diam., shape in side view ovate, shape in top view round in cross section, brown or black. Elaiosome absent.