Banks, J., wealthy patron of sciences, and a naturalist. Visited the Cape for a month in 1771, during which time he and Solander collected several hundred specimens.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Pillans, Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 16: 385 (1928)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.6–1 m tall, basal diameter 0.05–0.1 m, crown diameter 0.1–0.3 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms unbranched (very occasionally branched), round (not compressed), solid or with a small central cavity, smooth, olivaceous, 0.6–1 m tall, diameter at base 0.8–1.7 mm, diameter at apex 0.5–1.2 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, 20–30 mm long, margins entire, brown, upper 1/3 in colour and texture similar to the lower 2/3, apical margins coriaceous, like the rest of the body, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute. Sheath-mucro absent. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets, paniculate, 30–70 mm long, 15–30 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, shorter than spikelets, cartilaginous, spathes often erect. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets pendulous on flexible pedicels, ovate or obovate or orbicular, all straight, apex rounded or obtuse, 10–20 mm, 9–15 mm, with 15–20 flowers, pedicels as long as the spikelets, flattened. Male bracts taller than flowers, 6–10 mm long, oblong or obovate, rounded or obtuse, margins entire, chartaceous or cartilaginous, bract upper margin like body of bract or membranous, thinner texture than the body, bract awn minute or absent. Male flower 4.5–5.5 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, hyaline or chartaceous, linear or oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, glabrous. Anthers 2.5–3.5 mm long, included in the flowers. Pistillode absent. Females: female inflorescence linear, 30–60 mm long, 10–25 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, cartilaginous. Female spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Female spikelet sessile, linear or oblong or ovate, apex acute, 20–55 mm long, with 10–25 flowers, with 0–1 sterile bracts. Female bracts at least twice as long as flowers, erect, 7–15 mm long, oblong or ovate (tapering at ends), obtuse or acute, chartaceous or cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, margins entire, awn minute or absent. Female flower 3–3.5 mm long, regular, without a fleshy pedicel, six tepals. Female tepals chartaceous or cartilaginous, glabrous and smooth, at least as tall as nut, wrapped around it and obscuring the surface, midrib flush with the tepal body, margins entire, apices rounded or obtuse or acute (outer tepals obtuse inner tepals acute), inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate or keeled or winged, wings entire, narrower than body, hidden by bracts, or bracts are shorter than flowers, 3–3.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 3–3.5 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 3–3.5 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles flattened, white, 3 or 2. Style bases free. Ovary with 1 locule, indehiscent. Fruit: indehiscent fruits with a softer ovary wall. Perianth presence on fruits persistent, winged. Shape of winged dispersal unit oblong, narrower than long. Nut apex smooth, without a distinct cap, wall smooth, (1.64–)2.08(–2.84) mm long, (1.16–)1.43(–1.56) mm diam., shape in side view elliptical, shape in top view elliptical in cross section, brown. Elaiosome absent.