insignis (L.) = remarkable for, outstanding, noted.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Pillans, Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 30: 251 (1945)
Vegetative parts: plants clumped, 0.6–1 m tall, basal diameter 0.1–1 m, crown diameter 0.1–1 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons (sometimes with short poorly developed rhizomes). Fertile culms sparingly branched or branching, smooth, olivaceous, 0.6–1 m tall, diameter at base 1.5–1.7 mm, diameter at apex 0.7–1.3 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 10–25 mm long, brown, upper 1/3 in colour and texture abruptly different from the base, and soon decaying, apical margins coriaceous, like the rest of the body, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, truncate. Sheath-mucro awl- or needleshaped, straight and erect, 4 mm long, Only one intact sheath seen: apical portion with awn membranous and soon decaying. Males: male inflorescence with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets (not more than 2), racemose, 15–50 mm long, 10–15 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, minute, coriaceous, smaller than the bracts. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, elliptical or ovate, apex rounded or obtuse, 18–20 mm, 9–13 mm, with 30–50 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts shorter than flowers or as tall as flowers, 5.5–6.5 mm long, square or orbicular, rounded or obtuse, cartilaginous, bract upper margin with honeycombed cells, which eventually decay, bract awn minute or absent, overlapping tile-like in the spikelet, being much shorter than the spikelet. Male flower 5–6 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, cartilaginous, petals membranous, linear or oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel densely villous. Anthers 2.5 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present. Females: female inflorescence racemose, 15–50 mm long, 10–15 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes insignificant, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile, elliptical or ovate, apex rounded or obtuse or acute, 15–25 mm long, with 20–40 flowers, with 5–15 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers, 5.5–7.5 mm long, square, obtuse, cartilaginous, apical margin with honeycombed cells, darker than body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 6–7.5 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous, keels of lateral sepals densely villous, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length or inner whorl shorter than outer. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 6–7.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal linear or ovate, 5.5–7 mm long. Female inner tepals linear or ovate, 5–6.5 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 2 locules, dehiscent. Fruit: seed 1.7–2 mm long, 1.1–1.3 mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical or oblong, shape in diameter triangular in cross section, brown or grey or yellow (mottled), colliculate.