T: Caput bonae spei [Cape of Good Hope], C.P.Thunberg ; lecto: UPS, fide A.A.Obermeyer, in A.A.Obermeyer, J.Lewis & R.B.Faden, Fl. S. Afr. 4/2: 83 (1985); probable iso: LD.
Perennials, c. 12–35 (–80) cm tall, loosely to densely caespitose; rhizome thin, short vertical or elongated ascending; stolons absent. Leaves only basal, variable in length and width, usually 15–25 (–35) cm long, narrow, c. 0.7–2.0 (–3.0) mm wide in the middle, ±dilated at base (to 6 mm wide), flat to canaliculate or involute; sheath initially closed, later split, narrowly hyaline-bordered; auricles usually present, narrow, obtuse, sometimes ±absent (often not visible on older plants); margins smooth; apex subulate. Lower bract narrow, leaf-like, 1.5–5.0 (–12) cm long, usually shorter, rarely longer than inflorescence. Capitulum bracts ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, ±scarious, c. 2.5–3.5 mm long. Inflorescence compound or decompound, anthelate, of variable size and shape, of (3–) 5–15 (–50) cup-shaped hemispherical or subglobose 8–15 (–25)-flowered heads usually 7–8 (–11) mm wide. Tepals ±equal or unequal; outer tepals often shorter, rarely ±longer, carinate, lanceolate, acuminate-aristate, (2.8–) 3.5–4.0 (–5.2) mm, with central band straw-brown to brown, bordered deep castaneous, smooth to slightly scabrid, with margins broad and membranous; inner tepals ovate-lanceolate, ±obtuse to subacute, c. 3.0–4.5 (–5.2) mm long, with margins very broad, membranous. Stamens 6; anthers (0.9–) 1.2–1.7 mm long; filaments 0.4–0.6 mm long; style (0.8–) 1.2–1.7 mm long; stigmas (0.6–) 0.8–1.2 (–1.8) mm long, red. Capsule oblong-ovoid, subtrigonous, ±trilocular, c. 2.7–3.1 mm long, acute to subacuminate, top smooth, castaneous-brown to pale brown, usually shorter than perianth; mucro often to 0.5 mm long. Seeds ±ovoid, ±castaneous-brown, c. 0.55–0.60 (–0.75) mm long, faintly reticulate; appendages absent. Fig. 49.