(Mast.) Pillans, Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 16: 363 (1928)
Vegetative parts: plants clumped or tufted, 0.4–1.2 m tall, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons or with rhizomes. Rhizome spreading, unbranched or sparsely branched, culms evenly spaced or looping up, with clusters of culms on the uploops, 4–5 mm in diam., culms 2–10 mm apart. Fertile culms unbranched, smooth, olivaceous, 0.4–1.2 m tall, diameter at base 1–2.8 mm, diameter at apex 0.6–1.8 mm. Clusters of sterile branches at the nodes of the fertile branches present. Sterile branches present post flowering. Sheaths closely convoluted, 35–50 mm long, red brown with yellow speckles, apical margins broadly chartaceous and soon decaying, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute. Sheath-mucro absent or penicellate, straight and erect, 0–1 mm long. Sterile branch leaf-sheath 2–3 mm long, hyaline shoulder 3–6 mm long, lacerated, leaf-blade 5–7 mm long; leaf blade 0.2–0.4 mm wide. Males: male inflorescence with 11–20 spikelets or 21–50 spikelets or 50–100 spikelets, paniculate, 50–400 mm long, 20–50 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, upper margins lacerated and largely decayed at anthesis, shorter than spikelets, chartaceous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets pendulous on flexible pedicels, oblong, apex rounded, 10–20 mm, 5–10 mm, with 12–36 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets, flattened. Male bracts taller than flowers, 6–10 mm long, oblong or ovate, acute, hyaline (along the margins) or chartaceous (in the central portion), bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent, reddish-brown with a wide hyaline margin. Male flower 3–4 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, chartaceous or cartilaginous, petals chartaceous, oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals keeled or winged or conduplicate, glabrous. Anthers 2–2.2 mm long, included in the flowers. Pistillode absent. Females: female inflorescence paniculate or racemose, 80–300 mm long, 15–30 mm wide, with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets or as long as the spikelets, persistent, chartaceous. Female spikelet pedicel simple or pedicel sparsely branching, oblong, apex rounded, 20–50 mm long, with 14–36 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers or at least twice as long as flowers, 10–35 mm long, oblong, acute, chartaceous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 5–7 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous, glabrous and smooth, at least as tall as nut, wrapped around it and obscuring the surface, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices obtuse or acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals keeled or winged, wings entire, wings lateral sepals decurrent, without grooves, narrower than body, 5–7 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 5–6 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 4.5–5 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles plumose, white, 1. 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 (but rough, the cells being obscurely tuberculate), 1.4–2.74 mm long, 1.32–1.8 mm diam., shape in side view elliptical or obovate, shape in top view elliptical in cross section, brown. Elaiosome absent.