junceus (L.) = rushlike, made of rushes. Suggesting that this species looks like a rush (Juncaceae).
WCM Protologue Reference:
L., Mant. Pl. 2: 297 (1771)
Vegetative parts: plants clumped or mat-Forming, 0.2–1 m tall, basal diameter 0.1–1 m, crown diameter 0.1–1 m, with rhizomes. Rhizome spreading, unbranched or sparsely branched, culms evenly spaced, 2–8 mm in diam. (usually less than 5), culms 0–8 mm apart. Fertile culms unbranched, round (not compressed), solid or with a small central cavity, smooth or finely rugulose, green or olivaceous, 0.2–1 m tall, diameter at base 0.6–3.5 mm, diameter at apex 0.5–3 mm. Clusters of sterile branches at the nodes of the fertile branches absent. Sheaths dropping off, with an abscission line present, loosely convoluted, 15–35 mm long, margins entire, dark brown, apical margins coriaceous, like the rest of the body, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute. Sheath-mucro absent or penicellate, straight and erect, 0–2 mm long, dropping shortly after anthesis, so that many specimens still have sheaths on them. Males: male inflorescence with 21–50 spikelets or 50–100 spikelets or 101–500 spikelets, paniculate, 30–65 mm long, 10–30 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, taller than spikelets, cartilaginous, large structures, pushed aside by the full partial inflorescences of male flowers. Male spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 2–3 mm, 3–5 mm, with 3–7 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets, terete or angular. Male bracts shorter than flowers, 0.5–1 mm long, ovate or orbicular (enclosing the base of the flowers), rounded or obtuse, chartaceous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent, small structures enclosing the base of the flowers, often broader than long, often splitting as the flowers mature. Male flower 1.5–2 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, cartilaginous, oblong or ovate, inner tepals longer than outer tepals. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate or as other tepals (often all 6 tepals with raised or keeled midveins), glabrous. Anthers 0.9–1.3 mm long, included in the flowers. Pistillode present (minute). Females: female inflorescence linear, 30–80 mm long, 10–20 mm wide, with 11–20 spikelets or 21–50 spikelets. Female spathes longer than the spikelets, obscuring spikelet, persistent, cartilaginous. Female spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Female spikelet pedicel simple, undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 3–5 mm long, with 3–6 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers, erect, 1–2.5 mm long, ovate, rounded or obtuse or acute, chartaceous or cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 2–2.5 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, midrib raised, margins entire, apices obtuse or acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals or conduplicate (more that the midrib is raised, rather than keeled), hidden by bracts, or bracts are shorter than flowers, 2–2.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong or elliptical, 2–2.5 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 2–2.5 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white, 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, (1.72–)2.02(–2.4) mm long, (0.8–)1.01(–1.28) mm diam., shape in side view elliptical, shape in top view elliptical in cross section, brown. Elaiosome absent.