rupes (L) = rock or cliff, + cola (L) = dweller: thus the rockdweller, referring to its habitat.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Esterh., Bothalia 15: 459 (1985)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.6–1 m tall, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms branching, smooth, olivaceous, 0.6–1 m tall, diameter at base 2–3 mm, diameter at apex 0.2–0.4 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 7–20 mm long, olivaceous to brown, speckled, 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. Sheath-mucro awl- or needleshaped, straight and erect, 2–4 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets, racemose or paniculate, 30–60 mm long, 5–10 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, like the floral bracts, coriaceous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, elliptical, apex acute, 6–9 mm, 2–3 mm, with 8–10 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets, terete or angular. Male bracts as tall as flowers, 3.5–4 mm long, square, obtuse, cartilaginous, bract upper margin with honeycombed cells, which eventually decay, bract awn minute or absent, upper margin eventually decaying. Male flower 3–3.5 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 sparsely villous. Anthers 1.3–1.6 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present (minute). Females: female inflorescence racemose, 10–40 mm long, 4–12 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile or pedicel simple, elliptical, apex rounded or acute, 8–10 mm long, with 1 flowers, with 6–10 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers, 3–6 mm long, oblong or ovate, acute (the apical half soon decaying, leaving a more or less truncate remnant), cartilaginous, apical margin with honeycombed cells, paler than body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 6–7 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous, keels of lateral sepals densely villous (only in upper half), midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals or conduplicate, 6–7 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 6–7 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 6–7 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 3 locules (usually, but sometimes not all three fertile) or 2 locules or 1 locule, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (1.76–)1.87(–2.08) mm long, (1.2–)1.37(–1.52) mm in diameter, shape in side view oblong, shape in diameter triangular in cross section, grey, colliculate.