cincinnus (L.) = curled hair. Referring to the characteristically curly ends of the culms.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Mast., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 8: 240 (1865)
Vegetative parts: plants tangled (Small rounded cushions to 20 cm tall), 0.15–0.4 m tall, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms much branched, round (not compressed), solid or with a small central cavity, roughly warty, green or olivaceous, 0.15–0.4 m tall, diameter at base 0.5–1.7 mm, diameter at apex 0.1–0.3 mm, terminal parts flexuose. Branch axil indumentum absent. Clusters of sterile branches at the nodes of the fertile branches absent. Sheaths more than 1 per culm, persistent, with no abscission line, closely convoluted, 2–7 mm long, margins entire, reddish-brown with tan speckles, upper 1/3 in colour and texture similar to the lower 2/3, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders tall, acute, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, obtuse. Sheath-mucro flattened and leaf-like (the mucro is flattened but narrow and has either a pointed or blunt tip), straight and erect, 0.5–2.5 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets, racemose, 3–20 mm long, 1–5 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, shorter than spikelets, coriaceous or cartilaginous. Male spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, elliptical, apex acute or undifferentiated, 3.5–4.5 mm, 1–1.4 mm, with 7–12 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets, terete or angular. Male bracts taller than flowers, 2–3 mm long, oblong (very wide, at times almost square/orbicular), obtuse, margins entire, cartilaginous, bract upper margin membranous, thinner texture than the body, bract awn less than half as long as the bract body or between half and as long as the bract body. Male flower 1.6–2.2 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, chartaceous, petals chartaceous, oblong or elliptical, inner tepals shorter than outer tepals. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, glabrous or keel sparsely villous. Anthers 0.8–1.1 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Females: female inflorescence interrupted, 4–20 mm long, 1.5–5 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, cartilaginous. Female spikelet pedicel simple, undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 4–5.5 mm long, with 1 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers, erect, 2.3–3.5 mm long, oblong or obovate, obtuse, coriaceous or cartilaginous, apical margin membranous, same as body of bract, margins shallowly lacerated or toothed, awn less than half as long as the bract body. Female flower 3–5 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel, six tepals. Female tepals coriaceous (but relatively thin), keels of lateral sepals densely villous, midrib flush with the tepal body, margins entire, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals, hidden by bracts, or bracts are shorter than flowers, 2.5–3.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal ovate, 2.5–3.5 mm long. Female inner tepals ovate, 2.5–3.5 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles feathery, red, 2. Style bases fused to form a pillar. Ovary with 1 locule, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (1.44–)1.82(–2.12) mm long, (0.84–)1.22(–1.4) mm in diameter, shape in side view oblong, shape in diameter rectangular in cross section, translucent, smooth; funicular elaiosome absent.