distraho (L.) = to pull apart or to pull to pieces.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Mast., Fl. Cap. 7: 70 (1897)
Vegetative parts: plants mat-Forming or tangled, 0.2–0.4 m tall, basal diameter 0.1–2 m, crown diameter 0.1–2 m, with stolons. Fertile culms branching, round (not compressed), solid or with a small central cavity, finely warty, green, 0.2–0.4 m tall, diameter at base 0.8–2.1 mm, diameter at apex 0.7–1.2 mm, terminal parts flexuose. Branch axil indumentum present. Sheaths more than 1 per culm, persistent, with no abscission line, closely convoluted, 7–20 mm long, orange/reddish-brown, slightly glossy, apical margins narrowly membranous or broadly membranous, hyaline shoulders absent or membranous margins continuing behind awn, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute or obtuse. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect, 1–2.5 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets, globose (the branches bearing spikelets usually emerge from the tip of the culm), 8–28 mm long, 3–9 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, shorter than spikelets or as tall as spikelets, coriaceous or cartilaginous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, elliptical, apex acute or undifferentiated, 5–12 mm, 1–2 mm, with 6–10 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile or shorter than the spikelets, flattened. Male bracts taller than flowers, 3–5.5 mm long, orbicular (though a little longer than wide), rounded or obtuse, coriaceous or chartaceous or cartilaginous (the bracts may be brittle or flexible, but of medium thickness - thus a 'combination' of coriaceous and chartaceous), bract upper margin membranous, thinner texture than the body, bract awn less than half as long as the bract body. Male flower 3–4 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, chartaceous, oblong or elliptical, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel sparsely villous. Anthers 1.4–2 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Females: female inflorescence globose (Often 2 spikelets are siting closely together at the tip of a culm), 7–16 mm long, 1.5–8.5 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous or cartilaginous. Female spikelet pedicel simple, elliptical or obovate, apex acute or undifferentiated, 6–10 mm long, with 3–4 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers (only slightly), erect, 6–8.5 mm long, oblong or orbicular (when oblong, bracts are very wide; sometimes bracts are orbicular), rounded or obtuse or acute, coriaceous or cartilaginous, apical margin membranous or like rest of bract, same as body of bract, margins entire, awn less than half as long as the bract body. Female flower 6–8.5 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel, six tepals. Female tepals coriaceous, keels of lateral sepals densely villous, midrib raised, margins entire, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, hidden by bracts, or bracts are shorter than flowers, 5–8 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 5–8 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 5–8 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles feathery, white, 2. Style bases fused to form a pillar. Ovary dehiscent. Fruit: seed (1.4–)1.61(–1.84) mm long, (0.9–)0.99(–1.04) mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter round in cross section, silvery or yellow, pitted.