subcompressus (L.) = compressed. Referring to the flattened culms typical of this genus.
WCM Protologue Reference:
(Pillans) H.P.Linder, Bothalia 15: 437 (1985)
Vegetative parts: plants tangled, 0.1–0.4 m tall, basal diameter 0.1–2 m, crown diameter 0.1–2 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons or with stolons (bases not actually seen). Fertile culms branching, compressed. Margins of compressed culms ribbed distinct rib absent or distinct rib present. Fertile culms smooth or finely rugulose, green, diameter at apex 0.2–0.3 mm. Branch axil indumentum absent or present. Sheaths persistent, with no abscission line, closely convoluted, 5–15 mm long, green, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders membranous margins continuing behind awn, hyaline shoulder 0.1 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute. Sheath-mucro awl- or needleshaped, straight and erect, 1.5–2 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets, sparsely paniculate, 10–150 mm long, 3–5 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, shorter than spikelets, coriaceous, almost same size as bracts, but with awn and denser texture. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, oblong or ovate, apex rounded, 3–7 mm, 3–5 mm, with 3–6 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts taller than flowers, 2.5–3.5 mm long, ovate, acute, cartilaginous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent. Male flower 1.5–2.5 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, chartaceous, petals chartaceous, linear, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate or as other tepals, glabrous or keel sparsely villous. Anthers 1.5–2.5 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present. Females: female inflorescence sparsely paniculate, 5–25 mm long, 3–5 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets (mostly single). Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile, ovate, apex undifferentiated, 4–8 mm long, with 1–3 flowers, with 0–1 sterile bracts. Female bracts as tall as flowers or taller than flowers, 3–4 mm long, ovate, acute, cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn less than half as long as the bract body. Female flower 2.5–3 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous, keels of lateral sepals sparsely villous, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals or conduplicate, 2.5–3 mm long. Female odd outer tepal ovate, 2.5–3 mm long. Female inner tepals ovate, 2.5–3 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 2 locules, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (1.08–)1.41(–1.72) mm long, (1–)1.21(–1.68) mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter round in cross section, brown, brittle, white ornamentation.