zulus = inhabitants of KwaZulu-Natal, the home province of this species.
WCM Protologue Reference:
H.P.Linder, Bothalia 15: 463 (1985)
Vegetative parts: plants 0.2–0.4 m tall, with rhizomes. Rhizome spreading, unbranched or sparsely branched, culms evenly spaced, 2–3 mm in diam., culms 3–6 mm apart. Fertile culms sparingly branched or branching, smooth or finely rugulose, green, 0.2–0.4 m tall, diameter at base 0.4–0.6 mm, diameter at apex 0.2–0.4 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 7–12 mm long, pale brown with red speckling, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders membranous margins continuing behind awn, hyaline shoulder 0.01 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, rounded. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect, 2–3.5 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 1 spikelet. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, like the floral bracts, chartaceous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, oblong, 10–15 mm, 2–4 mm, with 3–5 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts more than twice as tall as flowers, 8–10 mm long, oblong, acute or acuminate, chartaceous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent. Male flower 3 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, cartilaginous, petals membranous, oblong, inner tepals shorter than outer tepals. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel sparsely villous. Anthers 1.6 mm long. Pistillode present. Females: female inflorescence with 1 spikelet. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets (like the bracts), persistent, chartaceous. Female spikelet sessile, oblong or obovate, apex rounded, 10–15 mm long, with 2–4 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts at least twice as long as flowers, 6.5–10 mm long, oblong, acuminate, chartaceous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn minute or absent or less than half as long as the bract body. Female flower 3–3.5 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous, glabrous and smooth, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute or acuminate, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 2–2.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 3–3.5 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 3–3.5 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 2 locules, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (1–)1.02(–1.04) mm long, (0.48–)0.54(–0.6) mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter plano-convex in cross section, tan, smooth.