Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.2-0.6 m tall, basal diameter 0.05-0.2 m, crown diameter 0.1-0.5 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons or with rhizomes (both kinds of plant base are found in this species which is generally very variable (see taxonomic notes). Rhizome very short with culms aggregated at base or spreading, unbranched or sparsely branched, culms evenly spaced, 2-2.8 mm in diam., culms 3-12 mm apart. Fertile culms unbranched, round (not compressed), smooth, green, 0.2-0.6 m tall, diameter at base 0.6-2 mm, diameter at apex 0.5-1.5 mm. Branch axil indumentum absent. Clusters of sterile branches at the nodes of the fertile branches absent. Sheaths more than 1 per culm, dropping off, with an abscission line present, loosely convoluted, 20-40 mm long, margins entire, shiny maroon (reddish-brown) with lighter brown margins, upper 1/3 in colour and texture similar to the lower 2/3, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute. Sheath-mucro penicellate, recurved, 2-3 mm long. Males: male inflorescence with 11-20 spikelets or 21-50 spikelets, paniculate, 20-110 mm long, 8-15 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes caducous, taller than spikelets, cartilaginous. Male spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Male flowers in spikelets (poorly organized). Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 4-4.5 mm, 2-3 mm, with 2-3 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets or as long as the spikelets, terete or angular or flattened. Male bracts shorter than flowers, 2-2.5 mm long, orbicular (the lower portion of the bract is wrapped around the base of the flower), obtuse, chartaceous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent. Male flower 3-4 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, coriaceous, oblong (tepal surface smooth), inner tepals longer than outer tepals. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate or as other tepals, glabrous. Anthers 1.7-2.1 mm long, included in the flowers. Pistillode present. Females: female inflorescence interrupted, 20-110 mm long, 10-15 mm wide, with 11-20 spikelets or 21-50 spikelets. Female spathes longer than the spikelets, not obscuring spikelet or obscuring spikelet, persistent or caducous, cartilaginous. Female spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Female spikelet pedicel sparsely branching, undifferentiated, apex undifferentiated, 5-6 mm long, with 2-3 flowers, with 1 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers, erect, 3-3.5 mm long, oblong or ovate, rounded or obtuse or acute, bony or coriaceous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, margins entire, awn minute or absent or less than half as long as the bract body. Female flower 3-4 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel, six tepals. Female tepals bony, glabrous and smooth, midrib flush with the tepal body, margins entire, apices acute or acuminate, inner whorl longer than outer. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals, hidden by bracts, or bracts are shorter than flowers, 3-3.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong or ovate, 3-3.5 mm long. Female inner tepals ovate, 3.5-4 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 3 locules, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (1.48-)1.77(-2) mm long, (0.88-)1.01(-1.12) mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter triangular in cross section, brown.