(Thunb.) Pillans, Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 16: 384 (1928)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.4–0.65 m tall, basal diameter 0.1–0.3 m, crown diameter 0.2–0.8 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms unbranched or sparingly branched, round (not compressed), solid or with a small central cavity, smooth, olivaceous, 0.45–0.65 m tall, diameter at base 0.7–1 mm, diameter at apex 0.5–0.8 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, 15–30 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, acuminate. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect or recurved or twisted, 0–1 mm long. Sterile branch leaf-sheath 5–10 mm long, hyaline shoulder 1.5–3 mm long, leaf-blade 5–22 mm long; leaf blade 0.5–1 mm wide. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets, paniculate, 10–50 mm long, 15–25 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, like the floral bracts, coriaceous or chartaceous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets pendulous on flexible pedicels, oblong or elliptical or ovate, all straight, apex rounded, 9–15 mm, 6–12 mm, with 15–20 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets or as long as the spikelets, flattened. Male bracts taller than flowers, 5.5–7 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, awn breaks off and apex becomes lacerated. Male flower 3–5 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals (only slightly), chartaceous, petals chartaceous, linear or oblong, inner tepals shorter than outer tepals or inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals keeled or winged or conduplicate, glabrous. Anthers 2.2–3 mm long, included in the flowers. Females: female inflorescence linear, 30–50 mm long, 8–20 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, chartaceous or cartilaginous. Female spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Female spikelet sessile, linear or elliptical, apex acute, 15–35 mm long, with 8–16 flowers, with 1 sterile bracts. Female bracts at least twice as long as flowers, erect, 6–10 mm long, oblong or ovate (lanceolate and tapering with bract lenth 6–10mm), obtuse or acuminate (tip is rolled and falls off making bract obtuse), cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract (slightly lacerated), same as body of bract, margins entire, awn minute or absent. Female flower 1.5–2.5 mm long, regular, without a fleshy pedicel, six tepals. Female tepals chartaceous, 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 obtuse or acute, inner and outer whorls the same length or inner whorl shorter than outer. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals or conduplicate, hidden by bracts, or bracts are shorter than flowers, 1.5–2.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 1.25–2.25 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 1.25–2.25 mm long. Styles flattened, white, 3 (rarely) 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, (2.6–)2.71(–2.8) mm long, (1.68–)1.76(–1.92) mm diam., shape in side view elliptical, shape in top view round in cross section, brown. Elaiosome absent.