quinque (L.) = five, + farius (L.) = ranked. Thus five-ranked, referring most likely to the bracts in the female spikelet.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Nees, Linnaea 5: 639 (1830)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.2–0.6 m tall, basal diameter 0.01–0.05 m, crown diameter 0.1–0.3 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms sparingly branched, smooth or finely rugulose, olivaceous, 0.3–0.6 m tall, diameter at base 0.5–1.5 mm, diameter at apex 0.4–1.2 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted or loosely convoluted or flat and standing free from culm, 20–50 mm long, olivaceous, apical margins coriaceous, like the rest of the body or narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders absent or membranous margins continuing behind awn, hyaline shoulder 0.01 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute or obtuse (decaying as truncate apices). Sheath-mucro penicellate or flattened and leaf-like, straight and erect, 8–22 mm long (usually as long as the sheath), massively long awn unique to this species. Males: male inflorescence with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets, racemose or paniculate, 10–70 mm long, 8–20 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, like the floral bracts or shorter than spikelets, coriaceous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, oblong, apex rounded, 12–30 mm, 7–12 mm, with 10–20 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile or shorter than the spikelets, terete or angular. Male bracts as tall as flowers or taller than flowers, 3–4.5 mm long, oblong, acute, cartilaginous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent, shiny, smooth. Male flower 4–5 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, cartilaginous, petals membranous, oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel densely villous. Anthers 2.4–2.6 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present. Females: female inflorescence racemose, 12–50 mm long, 8–20 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile or pedicel simple, oblong or ovate, apex rounded, 12–25 mm long, with 12–20 flowers, with 6 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers or as tall as flowers, 4.5–5.5 mm long, ovate, acute, cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 4.5–5.5 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. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 4.5–5.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 4.5–5.5 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 4.3–4.8 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 3 locules, dehiscent. Fruit: seed 1.2–1.6 mm long, 0.9–1.2 mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter triangular in cross section, brown, colliculate; funicular elaiosome present.