monos (G.) = solitary, + anthos (G.) = flower. Referring to the single-flowered spikelets found in some specimens.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Mast., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 8: 238 (1865)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.17–0.7 m tall, basal diameter 0.01–0.1 m, crown diameter 0.3 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms branching, round (not compressed), solid or with a small central cavity, smooth or finely warty, green, 0.3–0.7 m tall, diameter at base 0.5–1.8 mm, diameter at apex 0.4–0.8 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, 5–23 mm long, margins entire, maroon or light to dark-brown, often glossy, upper 1/3 in colour and texture similar to the lower 2/3, apical margins coriaceous, like the rest of the body, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, obtuse or truncate. Sheath-mucro absent or penicellate, straight and erect, 0.5–5 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets, racemose, 10–80 mm long, 3–8 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, shorter than spikelets, coriaceous. Male spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, elliptical, apex acute or undifferentiated, 6.5–9.5 mm, 1.2–5 mm, with 3–5 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts as tall as flowers or taller than flowers, 4–5.5 mm long, oblong, rounded, chartaceous or cartilaginous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn less than half as long as the bract body. Male flower 3.5–4.5 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals (marginally), chartaceous, petals chartaceous, oblong or elliptical, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel sparsely villous. Anthers 1.3–2.2 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Females: female inflorescence interrupted or linear, 10–150 mm long, 4–15 mm wide, with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous. Female spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Female spikelet sessile, obovate or undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 6–8 mm long, with 1–4 flowers, with 1 sterile bracts. Female bracts as tall as flowers or taller than flowers, erect, 4.5–6 mm long, oblong or orbicular, obtuse or acute, coriaceous or cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, margins entire, awn less than half as long as the bract body. Female flower 3.5–5 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel, six tepals. Female tepals cartilaginous, keels of lateral sepals sparsely villous, midrib flush with the tepal body (difficult to tell because tepals are very concave), margins entire, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length or inner whorl shorter than outer (inner often slightly shorter than outer). Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 3.5–4.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong or ovate, 3.5–4.5 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong or ovate, 2.5–3.5 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles feathery, red, 2. Style bases fused to form a pillar. Ovary with 2 locules, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (1.6–)1.64(–1.8) mm long, (0.84–)0.97(–1.2) mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter round in cross section, translucent or yellow or white (this depends on how translucent the seedcoat is - coat is whitish but yellow seed with brown colouration at the base shines through when coat is more translucent), pitted.