leptos (G.) = thin, slender, + clados (G.) = branch. Referring to the slender culms of this species.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Mast., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 8: 241 (1865)
Vegetative parts: plants several much-Branched culms from base, 0.2–0.5 m tall, basal diameter 0.1–0.2 m, crown diameter 0.3–1 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms branching or much branched or branches whorled at each node, round (not compressed), solid or with a small central cavity, smooth or finely rugulose, green or olivaceous, 0.15–0.5 m tall, diameter at base 0.7–2.7 mm, diameter at apex 0.2–0.4 mm. 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, 2–5 mm long, margins entire, orange to reddish-brown, upper 1/3 in colour and texture similar to the lower 2/3, apical margins narrowly membranous or broadly membranous, hyaline shoulders membranous margins continuing behind awn, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute or truncate. Sheath-mucro penicellate or hair-like, straight and erect, 1–2.5 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets, racemose (most commonly single spikelets), 2.5–7 mm long, 0.8–2 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, shorter than spikelets, cartilaginous. Male spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, elliptical, apex acute or undifferentiated, 2.5–7 mm, 0.8–1.2 mm, with 8–20 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts taller than flowers, 1.7–2.5 mm long, oblong or obovate, rounded or acute, cartilaginous, bract upper margin membranous, thinner texture than the body, bract awn less than half as long as the bract body. Male flower 1.3–2.3 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, chartaceous, oblong or elliptical, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel sparsely villous. Anthers 0.6–1 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Females: female inflorescence with 1 spikelet. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, cartilaginous. Female spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Female spikelet sessile, obovate or undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 3.5–4.5 mm long, with 2–5 flowers, with 1–4 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers, erect, 2–4 mm long, elliptical or ovate, rounded or obtuse, cartilaginous, apical margin membranous, same as body of bract, awn less than half as long as the bract body or between half and as long as the bract body or longer than the bract body. Female flower 1–3 mm long, regular, without a fleshy pedicel, six tepals. Female tepals chartaceous, keels of lateral sepals sparsely villous or keels of lateral sepals densely villous, midrib flush with the tepal body, margins entire, apices rounded or acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals, 1–3 mm long. Female odd outer tepal ovate, 1–3 mm long. Female inner tepals ovate, 1–3 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles feathery, white, 2. Style bases fused to form a pillar. Ovary with 1 locule, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (1.24–)1.25(–1.28) mm long, (0.88–)0.92(–0.96) mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter round in cross section, translucent or grey or white (translucent seedcoat interspersed with whitish/greyish patches), smooth.