aridus (L.) = dry, withered. In reference to the dry areas in which this species is found.
WCM Protologue Reference:
H.P.Linder & Vlok, Pl. Syst. Evol. 175: 158 (1991)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.8–2 m tall, basal diameter 0.2–0.5 m, crown diameter 0.5–1 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms unbranched, smooth, olivaceous, 0.8–2 m tall, diameter at base 3–4 mm, diameter at apex 1–2.5 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 35–50 mm long, golden-brown fading to grey, apical margins broadly chartaceous and soon decaying, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acuminate. Sheath-mucro absent. Males: male inflorescence with 101–500 spikelets, paniculate, 90–300 mm long, 40–100 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, upper margins lacerated and largely decayed at anthesis, shorter than spikelets, chartaceous or membranous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets pendulous on flexible pedicels, elliptical, apex rounded or obtuse, 3–6 mm, 1.5–2.5 mm, with 4–7 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets or as long as the spikelets or longer than the spikelets, flattened. Male bracts as tall as flowers or taller than flowers, 1.5–3 mm long, oblong, rounded or obtuse or acute, chartaceous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent. Male flower 1.7–2.5 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, chartaceous or cartilaginous, oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, glabrous. Anthers 1–1.5 mm long, included in the flowers. Pistillode absent. Females: female inflorescence linear or paniculate, 100–300 mm long, 15–30 mm wide, with 51–100 spikelets or 101–500 spikelets. Female spathes longer than the spikelets, not obscuring spikelet, persistent (like the male spathes), chartaceous. Female spikelet pedicel sparsely branching (erect and stiff), elliptical, apex acute, 4–5 mm long, with 1 flowers, with 3 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers, 1.5–2 mm long, ovate, obtuse or acute, 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 3–5 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals bony, glabrous and smooth, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals, 3–5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 3–5 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 3–5 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 3 locules, dehiscent or capsules thinwalled, sometimes dropping with seed in (I am not sure that the ovaries open to release the seed - generally it seems as if the whole flower is dropped, suggesting that the ovary may be indehiscent or tardily dehiscent.). Fruit: seed surface type 10.