Wallich, N., Superintendent of the East India Co. botanic garden in Calcutta, and collected on periodic visits to the Cape, especially in 1842–1843.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Mast., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 8: 234 (1865)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted or mat-Forming (two quite distinct growthforms in this species: a tufted streamside form, and a matforming valley-bottom form), 0.25–0.7 m tall, basal diameter 0.2–1 m, crown diameter 0.4–1 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons or with stolons. Fertile culms unbranched or sparingly branched, round (not compressed), solid or with a small central cavity, smooth, green, 0.25–0.7 m tall, diameter at base 0.5–1.2 mm, diameter at apex 0.2–0.5 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, 6–20 mm long, margins entire, very pale brown to cream coloured, upper 1/3 in colour and texture similar to the lower 2/3, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, rounded. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect or recurved, 3–6 mm long, distinctive by the pale cream colour, the rounded apices, and the sometimes divergent mucro. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets, racemose, 15–60 mm long, 2–5 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, shorter than spikelets, chartaceous. Male spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, elliptical (slender, curved), apex acute, 6–11 mm, 2–3 mm, with 6–12 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts taller than flowers, 2.5–3 mm long, oblong, rounded or acute, margins entire, chartaceous, bract upper margin membranous, thinner texture than the body, bract awn less than half as long as the bract body. Male flower 2 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, chartaceous, petals chartaceous, oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel sparsely villous. Anthers 0.8–1 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode absent. Females: female inflorescence linear, 5–60 mm long, 3–5 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, chartaceous. Female spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Female spikelet sessile, elliptical or ovate, apex acute, 5–7.5 mm long, with 6–14 flowers, with 1–3 sterile bracts. Female bracts as tall as flowers, erect, 2–3 mm long, ovate, acute, chartaceous, apical margin membranous, paler than body of bract, margins entire, awn minute or absent or less than half as long as the bract body. Female flower 2–2.2 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel, six tepals. Female tepals chartaceous (margins membranous), keels of lateral sepals sparsely villous, midrib flush with the tepal body, margins entire, apices acuminate, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, hidden by bracts, or bracts are shorter than flowers, 1.5–2.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 1.5–2.5 mm long. Female inner tepals elliptical, 1.5–2.5 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles feathery, white, 2. Style bases fused to form a pillar. Ovary with 2 locules, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (0.8–)0.91(–1.04) mm long, (0.4–)0.53(–0.6) mm in diameter, shape in side view obovate, shape in diameter round in cross section, brown; funicular elaiosome absent.