Marloth, H.W.R., a chemist, who was one of South Africa's foremost natural historians. He settled in Cape Town in 1883, and was one of the first to explore the higher mountains, in the course of which he discovered many new species. His greatest impact was by thinking about plants and vegetation in a remarkably modern way, and much of his work has only recently been taken further forward.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Pillans, Ann. Bolus Herb. 3: 83 (1921)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.3–0.6 m tall, basal diameter 0.1–1 m, crown diameter 0.1–1 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons or with stolons. Fertile culms branching, round (not compressed), solid or with a small central cavity, roughly warty (with flattened papillae), green or olivaceous, 0.3–0.6 m tall, diameter at base 0.8–1.5 mm, diameter at apex 0.6–1.4 mm. Branch axil indumentum absent. 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, 5–25 mm long, orange- to reddish-brown, glossy, upper 1/3 in colour and texture similar to the lower 2/3, apical margins coriaceous, like the rest of the body or narrowly membranous or broadly membranous, hyaline shoulders membranous margins continuing behind awn or tall, acute, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acuminate or acute (tapering up into the awn). Sheath-mucro hair-like, straight and erect, 3–12 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets, racemose or globose, 6–50 mm long, 1.5–13 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, shorter than spikelets or as tall as spikelets or taller than spikelets, coriaceous or cartilaginous. Male spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, oblong or elliptical or undifferentiated, apex acute or undifferentiated, 6–20 mm, 2–10 mm, with 5–15 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts as tall as flowers, 5.5–12.5 mm long, oblong or obovate, rounded or obtuse, cartilaginous, bract upper margin membranous, thinner texture than the body, bract awn less than half as long as the bract body or between half and as long as the bract body. Male flower 4.5–10 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, chartaceous, linear or elliptical, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel sparsely villous. Anthers 2–4.5 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Females: female inflorescence interrupted or linear (Usually single spikelets), 8–28 mm long, 2–9 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets or as long as the spikelets (usually shorter), persistent, coriaceous or cartilaginous. Female spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Female spikelet sessile, undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 6.5–22 mm long, with 7–15 flowers, with 0–1 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers, erect or reflexed, 4.5–15 mm long, oblong or elliptical or obovate (very wide), rounded or obtuse, coriaceous or cartilaginous (very thick), apical margin membranous (narrow membranous strip), 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. Female flower 2.5–8 mm long, regular, without a fleshy pedicel, six tepals. Female tepals coriaceous or chartaceous or cartilaginous, keels of lateral sepals sparsely villous, midrib raised, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 2.5–7.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal ovate, 2.5–7.5 mm long. Female inner tepals ovate, 2.5–7.5 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles feathery, red, 2. Style bases fused to form a pillar. Ovary with 1 locule, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (1.24–)1.63(–2) mm long, (0.96–)1.09(–1.2) mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter round in cross section, yellow.