Habit: Plants dioecious, fruticose, densely tufted, glomerose, approximately 40 cm tall, 20-30 cm in diameter. Rhizome compact, densely villous with ferruginous to pale hairs, 1.8-2.1 mm in diameter; scale leaves straw-coloured, broadly lanceolate, overlapping, 0.8 mm long. Culms terete, branched, pubescent and finely scabrous, pale green, more or less erect, 30-50 cm long; culm nodes more or less equidistant,10-15 per culm and each giving rise to branchlets; cataphylls strawcoloured, overlapping, ribbed and lanceolate, 3 mm long; culm sheaths light brown to straw-coloured, striate, ovate (3 mm wide, 9 mm long), hairy on outer surface and margins with a dense apical fringe of longer hairs (1-1.3 mm long), apex aristate, apex aristate, sparsely hairy, lamina diverging from sheath, 7-12 mm long; culm branchlets bearing lateral branches and flattened irregular branchlets of a higher order in texture and surface similar to culms, sheaths usually narrower. Spikelets, branches and branchlets arising together giving the nodes a glomerose appearance. Male Spikelets sessile, clustered in axils of culm sheaths, or terminal on branchlets, 1-5 per cluster, broadly fusiform 4-6mm long, 1-1.5 mm broad, each subtended by 20-30 imbricate rigid hyaline glumes; glumes pale straw in colour, with a brown mucro, 3-3.4 mm long, 1-1.2 mm wide. Male flowers sessile, 3-6 per spikelet; tepals 6, 3-6 mm long, linear-lanceolate ; stamens 3, exserted. Female spikelets similar to males, fusiform, 4-5 mm long, 0.8-1 mm wide; glumes 4-7, closely adpressed, 1.5-3.5 mm long with a 1.5-2.5 mm long mucro, uppermost glumes fertile, subequal, hairy on outer surfaces; lower glumes with broad, green flattened apex. Female flowers one per spikelet; tepals 6, linear-lanceolate, 3-6 mm long; stigma unbranched, red 4-7 mm long, plumose. Fruit a uniovulate nut, 5 mm long, 1 1mm wide, elongate with a blunt apex, outer fruit wall ribbed; seed brown to cream coloured.
The species is in urgent need of further survey to determine the extent of its distribution and conservation status. For the present it should be gazetted as rare and endangered.
Affinities: Desmocladus glomeratus is most similar to Desmocladus virgatus L.A.S Johnson and B.G. Briggs ined., but lacks verticillate arrangement of culm branches and has sessile spikelets and a more lax habit than the latter species.
Flowering August to October. Seed-shed: October to November. Seedlings: not encountered in habitat.
The species is known from only one location in sand over laterite in heathland at Howatharra Hill north-east of Geraldton. Plants are killed by fire and regenerate from seed.