Thunb., Kongl. Vetensk. Acad. Nya Handl. 11: 28 (1790)
Vegetative parts: plants clumped or tangled, 0.3–1 m tall, basal diameter 0.2–1 m, crown diameter 0.2–1 m, with rhizomes (often with a distinction between a strong, spreading rhizome, and clusters of smaller ascending rhizomes). Rhizome very short with culms aggregated at base or spreading, unbranched or sparsely branched, culms evenly spaced, 4–10 mm in diam. Fertile culms sparingly branched or branching, smooth or finely rugulose, olivaceous or speckled golden (and brown), 0.2–1 m tall, diameter at base 1–3 mm, diameter at apex 0.2–1.8 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted or loosely convoluted, 8–45 mm long, brown or olivacious, upper 1/3 in colour and texture abruptly different from the base, and soon decaying, apical margins broadly membranous, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acuminate or acute. Sheath-mucro absent or penicellate or awl- or needleshaped, straight and erect, 1–20 mm long, the membranous apex soon drops off, leaving a truncate remnant. Males: male inflorescence with indefinite spikelets, Racemose or paniculate, 10–60 mm long, 9–20 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes caducous, taller than spikelets, cartilaginous, expanded during flowering, sheath-like. Male flowers not aggregated into spikelets. Male bracts taller than flowers, 10–16 mm long, linear, acuminate, chartaceous or membranous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent. Male flower 4–7 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, chartaceous or membranous, linear, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals as other tepals, glabrous. Anthers 2.5–3 mm long, included in the flowers. Pistillode absent. Females: female inflorescence linear or racemose, 25–110 mm long, 4–15 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes as long as the spikelets or longer than the spikelets, not obscuring spikelet or obscuring spikelet, persistent or caducous, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile, obovate or obtriangular, apex truncate or rounded, 10–25 mm long, with 1 flowers, with 3–8 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers, 10–20 mm long, oblong, acuminate, chartaceous or cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract or darker than body of bract, awn minute or absent or less than half as long as the bract body. Female flower 7–10 mm long, with a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals chartaceous or membranous, glabrous and smooth, smaller than nut and not obscuring the nut surface, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices rounded or obtuse, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals, 1.2–2.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal square or ovate, 1.2–2.5 mm long. Female inner tepals square or ovate, 1–2.5 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles plumose, white or pink or red, 2. Style bases free. Ovary with 1 locule, indehiscent. Fruit: indehiscent fruits with a hard woody ovary wall. Perianth presence on fruits persistent, membranous, shorter than nut. Nut apex smooth, without a distinct cap, wall smooth or wall pitted (obscurely), 5–9 mm long, 3.5–5 mm diam., shape in side view elliptical or oblong, shape in top view round in cross section, brown. Elaiosome present, olivacous, 1.2–4 mm long, more than 0.5 nutlength or less than half as long as nut.