(Thunb.) Pillans, Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 16: 365 (1928)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.4–0.6 m tall, basal diameter 0.05–0.1 m, crown diameter 0.1–0.4 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms unbranched, smooth, olivaceous, 0.4–0.6 m tall, diameter at base 1.3–2 mm, diameter at apex 1–1.5 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 20–50 mm long, yellow brown with dark brown striations, apical margins broadly chartaceous and soon decaying, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute. Sheath-mucro absent. Males: male inflorescence with 21–50 spikelets, paniculate, 80–150 mm long, 20–70 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, 12–18 mm, 4–6 mm, with 18–20 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets, flattened. Male bracts taller than flowers, 6–10 mm long, oblong (lanceolate), acuminate, cartilaginous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent, dark brown. Male flower 3–4 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, chartaceous or cartilaginous, petals chartaceous or membranous, oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals keeled or winged, glabrous. Anthers 1.5–2.2 mm long, included in the flowers. Pistillode absent. Females: female inflorescence linear or paniculate or racemose, 30–110 mm long, 10–25 mm wide, with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets or as long as the spikelets or longer than the spikelets, not obscuring spikelet, persistent, chartaceous. Female spikelet pedicel simple, oblong, apex rounded, 15–25 mm long, with 8–20 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers or at least twice as long as flowers, 7–12 mm long, oblong, acute or acuminate, cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 3.2–3.7 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 acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals keeled or winged, wings entire, wings lateral sepals decurrent, without grooves, as wide as body or wider than body, hidden by bracts, or bracts are shorter than flowers, 3.2–3.7 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 2.8–3.5 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 2.8–3.5 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, 1.2–2 mm long, 1–1.4 mm diam., shape in side view elliptical, shape in top view elliptical in cross section, tan. Elaiosome absent.