echinatus (L.) = hedgehog, thus armed with numerous prickles.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Kunth, Enum. Pl. 3: 384 (1841)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.3–0.5 m tall, basal diameter 0.01–0.1 m, crown diameter 0.1–0.3 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms unbranched, smooth or finely warty, olivaceous, 0.3–0.5 m tall, diameter at base 0.6–1.2 mm, diameter at apex 0.4–1.4 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 11–22 mm long, greenish, turning brown, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders tall, acute, hyaline shoulder 0.2–0.4 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute or obtuse. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect, 4–7 mm long, membranous shoulders lost even before anthesis. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets, racemose or paniculate, 10–60 mm long, 7–20 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, shorter than spikelets, coriaceous, clasping the base of the spikelets. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, square, apex rounded, 6–15 mm, 3–8 mm, with 4–8 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile or shorter than the spikelets, terete or angular. Male bracts taller than flowers, 5–9 mm long, ovate, acuminate, cartilaginous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent or less than half as long as the bract body or between half and as long as the bract body, bracts recurved, flowers exposed at apex of bracts. Male flower 5–6.5 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, cartilaginous, petals membranous, oblong, inner tepals shorter than outer tepals. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel densely villous. Anthers 2–3 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present. Females: female inflorescence paniculate or racemose, 15–40 mm long, 10–15 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile or pedicel simple, oblong or elliptical, apex rounded, 10–15 mm long, with 4–6 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers, reflexed, 6–10 mm long, ovate, acuminate, cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, darker than body of bract, awn minute or absent or less than half as long as the bract body. Female flower 6.5–8 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous, keels of lateral sepals sparsely villous, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute or acuminate, inner whorl shorter than outer. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 6.5–8 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong or ovate, 6–7 mm long. Female inner tepals ovate, 5–6 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 2 locules, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (1.36–)1.48(–1.8) mm long, (0.96–)1.07(–1.24) mm in diameter, shape in side view oblong, shape in diameter triangular in cross section, brown, striate.