Augusta Vera Duthie, born in Knysna, lecturer in Botany in Wellington and then the University of Stellenbosch, where she was department head, started the Stellenbosch University Herbarium and specialized in the plants of the Cape Flats and from her family farm at Knysna.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Pillans, Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 16: 287 (1928)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted or tangled, 0.1–0.3 m tall, basal diameter 0.02–0.1 m, crown diameter 0.1–0.3 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms branching, roughly warty, green, 0.1–0.3 m tall, diameter at base 0.2–0.8 mm, diameter at apex 0.2–0.4 mm. Sheaths more than 1 per culm, persistent, with no abscission line, closely convoluted, 3–12 mm long, green or tan to brown (body of sheath) with darker brown, slightly shiny edges, apical margins narrowly membranous (there is a fairly broad cartilaginous/coriaceaous margin, different from the body of the sheath, but its very edges are membranous), hyaline shoulders tall, acute, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, obtuse or truncate. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect or recurved, 7–45 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets, racemose, 5–30 mm long, 1–10 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, shorter than spikelets, coriaceous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, elliptical, apex acute or undifferentiated, 4–6.5 mm, 1–1.7 mm, with 2–4 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets, flattened. Male bracts shorter than flowers or as tall as flowers, 3–4 mm long, oblong or elliptical or ovate (broadly), rounded or acute, coriaceous or cartilaginous, bract upper margin membranous, thinner texture than the body, bract awn minute or absent, they vary in shape and size depending on their position in the spikelet (towards the top or base). Male flower 3–3.8 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 as other tepals, glabrous. Anthers 1.4–1.8 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Females: female inflorescence interrupted or linear (Linear but culm is not straight, sometimes there is only one spikelet at the apex of a culm), 4–40 mm long, 0.5–4 mm wide, with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet pedicel simple, elliptical, apex acute or undifferentiated, 4–8 mm long, with 1–4 flowers, with 1 sterile bracts. Female bracts as tall as flowers or taller than flowers, erect, 2.5–5.5 mm long, oblong, rounded or obtuse or acute, coriaceous or cartilaginous, apical margin membranous, same as body of bract, margins entire, awn less than half as long as the bract body. Female flower 3–5 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel, six tepals. Female tepals chartaceous, glabrous and smooth or keels of lateral sepals sparsely villous, midrib flush with the tepal body or midrib raised (when keeled, midrib is raised), margins entire, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals or conduplicate (sometimes keeled), 2.5–4 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong or ovate (generally broader at the base but with straight sides), 2.5–4 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong or ovate (generally broader at the base but with straight sides), 2.5–4 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles feathery, red, 2. Style bases fused to form a pillar, glabrous or more or less villous. Ovary with 2 locules, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (1.16–)1.4(–1.92) mm long, (0.64–)0.7(–0.84) mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter round in cross section, white, pitted.