laniger (L.) = wool-bearing. In reference to the tufts of hair or wool from the leaf axils.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Kunth, Enum. Pl. 3: 386 (1841)
Vegetative parts: plants mat-Forming or tangled, 0.06–0.4 m tall, with stolons. Fertile culms branching, round (not compressed), solid or with a small central cavity, smooth or finely rugulose, green or olivaceous, 0.05–0.4 m tall, diameter at base 0.7–2 mm, diameter at apex 0.5–1 mm, terminal parts flexuose. Branch axil indumentum present (very conspicuous). Clusters of sterile branches at the nodes of the fertile branches absent. Sheaths more than 1 per culm, persistent, with no abscission line, closely convoluted, 6–15 mm long, margins entire, orange to reddish-brown or dark-brown, sometimes with tan speckles, upper 1/3 in colour and texture similar to the lower 2/3, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders absent or membranous margins continuing behind awn (if membranous continuation exists, it is usually a very narrow strip), apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute or obtuse or truncate. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect, 1.5–4.5 mm long, indumentum in the branch axils is a very distinctive feature. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets, racemose, 6–45 mm long, 2–15 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, like the floral bracts or shorter than spikelets, coriaceous or cartilaginous. Male spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, elliptical, apex acute or undifferentiated, 6–12 mm, 1.5–3 mm, with 4–10 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts taller than flowers, 4.5–10.5 mm long, oblong or elliptical, rounded or obtuse, coriaceous or cartilaginous, bract upper margin like body of bract or membranous, thinner texture than the body, bract awn less than half as long as the bract body. Male flower 3.5–6.5 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, chartaceous, linear or oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel sparsely villous. Anthers 2.5–3 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Females: female inflorescence interrupted, 6–40 mm long, 2–15 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous or cartilaginous (thick and sturdy, almost bony). Female spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Female spikelet sessile, obovate or undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 6–20 mm long, with 2–8 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts as tall as flowers or taller than flowers, erect, 7–15 mm long, oblong or obovate, 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 4.5–10 mm long, regular, without a fleshy pedicel, six tepals. Female tepals cartilaginous, keels of lateral sepals sparsely villous, midrib flush with the tepal body or midrib raised, margins entire, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 4–8.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong or ovate, 4–8.5 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong or elliptical, 4–8.5 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles feathery, white, 2. Style bases fused to form a pillar. Ovary with 1 locule, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (1.28–)1.66(–1.8) mm long, (0.92–)1.05(–1.2) mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter round in cross section, white, pitted (small pits).