argenteum (L.) = of silver, or the colour of silver.
WCM Protologue Reference:
(Thunb.) Mast., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 10: 261 (1869)
Vegetative parts: plants clumped, 0.5–1 m tall, basal diameter 0.2–2 m, crown diameter 0.3–2 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons or with rhizomes. Rhizome spreading, unbranched or sparsely branched, culms evenly spaced, 8–15 mm in diam., culms 1–5 mm apart. Fertile culms unbranched, striate, olivaceous or speckled golden, 0.5–1 m tall, diameter at base 1–2 mm, diameter at apex 0.7–1.5 mm. Sheaths persistent, with no abscission line, closely convoluted, 20–30 mm long, tan to dark brown or grey; speckled, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders small, rounded, hyaline shoulder 0.2 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acuminate or acute. Sheath-mucro awl- or needleshaped, straight and erect, 2–5 mm long, distinctly membranous margin, abruptly different from the body. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets or 21–50 spikelets or 50–100 spikelets, paniculate, 15–120 mm long, 7–20 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes caducous, taller than spikelets, cartilaginous, red-golden in colour, sharpely lanceolate. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, ovate or obovate, apex rounded or obtuse, 3–8 mm, 2–5 mm, with 20–30 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile or shorter than the spikelets or as long as the spikelets or longer than the spikelets, terete or angular. Male bracts taller than flowers, 3–6 mm long, oblong or ovate, acuminate, hyaline, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent, distinct central vein, straw-coloured, rarely red-golden towards apex. Male flower 2.5–4 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, cartilaginous, oblong or ovate, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals keeled or winged, glabrous. Anthers 1.5–2 mm long, included in the flowers. Pistillode absent. Females: female inflorescence linear or racemose, 20–80 mm long, 4–15 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes longer than the spikelets, not obscuring spikelet, persistent or caducous, cartilaginous. Female spikelet sessile, obovate or obtriangular, apex truncate or obtuse, 17–20 mm long, with 1 flowers, with 8–15 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers, erect, 10–20 mm long, oblong, acuminate, cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, paler than body of bract or same as body of bract or darker than body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 6–7 mm long, with a fleshy pedicel, with no tepals. Staminodes absent. Styles plumose, red, 2. Style bases free. Ovary with 1 locule, indehiscent. Fruit: indehiscent fruits with a hard woody ovary wall. Perianth presence on fruits absent. Nut apex smooth, without a distinct cap, wall smooth (wrinkled near base), (4.92–)5.26(–5.75) mm long, (3.58–)4.08(–4.5) mm diam., shape in side view oblong, shape in top view round in cross section, brown. Elaiosome present, olivacous, 1.5 mm long, less than half as long as nut.