Vegetative parts: plants clumped or tufted, 0.3-0.5 m tall, basal diameter 0.1-0.3 m, crown diameter 0.1-0.6 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons (but very tough, plants not easily pulled up). Fertile culms branching, finely warty or roughly warty (tubercles white), olivaceous, 0.3-0.5 m tall, diameter at base 1-2 mm, diameter at apex 0.3-1 mm. Sheaths loosely convoluted, 7-17 mm long, brown, apical margins coriaceous, like the rest of the body, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, obtuse. Sheath-mucro hair-like, straight and erect or recurved, 1-3 mm long.
Males: male inflorescence with 1 spikelet or 2-5 spikelets, racemose, 15-45 mm long, 5-20 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, like the floral bracts, cartilaginous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, linear or oblong, apex rounded or acute, 8-35 mm, 3-7 mm, with 10-35 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts taller than flowers, 3-4.5 mm long, ovate, acuminate, cartilaginous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent, numerous, even-sized, much shorter than the spikelet. Male flower 2-2.2 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, chartaceous, linear or oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, glabrous. Anthers 1.4-1.7 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present.
Females: female inflorescence paniculate or racemose, 15-70 mm long, 7-50 mm wide, with 2-5 spikelets or 6-10 spikelets or 11-20 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile or pedicel simple, elliptical, apex acute, 7-12 mm long, with 4-7 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers, 4-6.5 mm long, ovate, acute or acuminate, cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 3-3.5 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals chartaceous, keels of lateral sepals sparsely villous, at least as tall as nut, wrapped around it and obscuring the surface, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices rounded, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 3-3.4 mm long. Female odd outer tepal obovate, 1.8-3.1 mm long. Female inner tepals obovate, 2.9-3.5 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white or pink, 3. Style bases seated on a stylopodium. Ovary with 1 locule, indehiscent.
Fruit: indehiscent fruits with a softer ovary wall. Perianth presence on fruits persistent, papery to leathery, not winged. Nut apex smooth, without a distinct cap, wall smooth, (1.04-)1.25(-1.48) mm long, (0.48-)0.56(-0.6) mm diam., shape in side view elliptical, shape in top view round in cross section, tan. Elaiosome absent.
Western Cape, or Eastern Cape; the Cape Floristic Region Bredasdorp Plains or Langeberg - Outenique mountains or Eastern Cape; A southern Cape species, which ranges from Gysmanshoek Pass and the Breede River through the Langeberg, west of Riversdale, to Humansdorp near Port Elizabeth. It is restricted to the coastal platform, where it is most commonly found along the coastal pediments of the mountain ranges.
Altitude 80-350 m. Rockiness of habitat no rocks. Bedrock: Silcretes. Groundwater availability well-drained soils. Vegetation type fynbos. Occasional on well-drained slopes, often part of general well-drained fynbos. Seems to be most common on the silcrete plateaux on the coastal side of the Outenique mountains. The occurrence at Verkykerkop between Heidelberg and the sea suggest a once much more common distribution along the coastal plains. Plants coppicing from the rhizome or base after fire. Seed dispersal mode undifferentiated.