fusiformis (L.) = swollen in the middle, and tapering to each end.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Pillans, J. S. African Bot. 18: 104 (1952)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.25–0.5 m tall, basal diameter 0.01–0.05 m, crown diameter 0.1–0.3 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms sparingly branched or branching, finely rugulose, olivaceous, 0.25–0.5 m tall, diameter at base 0.6–0.8 mm, diameter at apex 0.3–0.7 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 5–12 mm long, brown to gray, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders membranous margins continuing behind awn, hyaline shoulder 0.2 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, truncate. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect, 1–2 mm long, the apical shoulders and mucro are soon lost. Males: male inflorescence with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets, racemose, 15–40 mm long, 4–12 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, minute, coriaceous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, elliptical, apex obtuse or acute, 12–30 mm, 3–5 mm, with 8–15 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts taller than flowers, 4–6 mm long, elliptical, obtuse, cartilaginous (with 11 feint veins), bract upper margin with honeycombed cells, which eventually decay (forming a 0.5 mm wide, sharply distinct, upper margin to the bracts), bract awn minute or absent, distinctly bicoloured, with the dark upper margin, and the paler body. Male flower 4–4.5 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, cartilaginous, petals membranous, oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel densely villous. Anthers 1.8–2.2 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present. Females: female inflorescence with 1 spikelet. Female spathes insignificant, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile, elliptical, apex acute, 10–20 mm long, with 5–8 flowers, with 1–3 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers, 6–7.5 mm long, oblong or square, obtuse, chartaceous (body with 11 feint veins), apical margin with honeycombed cells (0.5–1 mm wide and sharply delimited from the rest of the bract), darker than body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 4.2–4.6 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous, keels of lateral sepals densely villous (but with the keel hairs fused into a wing), midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate or keeled or winged (wing of fused keel hairs), wings lacerated, as wide as body, 4.2–4.6 mm long. Female odd outer tepal linear or oblong, 4.2–4.6 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong or ovate, 4–4.4 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white, 3. Style bases free (adjacent at base). Ovary with 2 locules, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (1.6–)1.62(–1.64) mm long, (1.08–)1.16(–1.24) mm in diameter, shape in side view ovate, shape in diameter plano-convex in cross section, tan, smooth.