fragilis (L.) = weak, feeble. A weak scrambling plant.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Esterh., Bothalia 15: 447 (1985)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted or tangled, 0.2–0.4 m tall, basal diameter 0.01–0.3 m, crown diameter 0.3–1 m, with stolons. Fertile culms branching or much branched, finely rugulose or rugose, green, 0.2–0.4 m tall, diameter at base 0.3–0.5 mm, diameter at apex 0.02–0.1 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 4–10 mm long, green to brown, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders tall, acute, hyaline shoulder 0.2–0.6 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect, 1.5–2.5 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets, racemose, 10–40 mm long, 2–4 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, as tall as spikelets, coriaceous, enclosing the spikelets, the margins are membranous, centre coriaceous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, elliptical, apex acute, 2.5–3.5 mm, 0.7–0.8 mm, with 1 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts shorter than flowers or as tall as flowers, 2–2.5 mm long, oblong, acute, chartaceous, bract upper margin membranous, thinner texture than the body, bract awn minute or absent, margins membranous, a smaller version of the spathes. Male flower 2.5–3 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, chartaceous or cartilaginous, petals membranous, linear or oblong, inner tepals shorter than outer tepals. Male outer lateral tepals as other tepals, glabrous. Anthers 1.3–1.5 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present. Females: female inflorescence racemose, 5–30 mm long, 2–3 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes as long as the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous (margins broadly membranous). Female spikelet sessile, obtriangular, apex truncate, 4–5 mm long, with 1 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers, 2.3–3 mm long, oblong, truncate, chartaceous or membranous, apical margin membranous, paler than body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 3–3.5 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous (sepals) or membranous (petals), glabrous and smooth, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute, inner whorl shorter than outer. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals, 3–3.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal linear or oblong, 3–3.5 mm long. Female inner tepals linear or oblong, 2–2.5 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 1 locule, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (1.24–)1.36(–1.44) mm long, (0.68–)0.79(–0.88) mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter triangular in cross section, tan, smooth.