Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.5–1 m tall, basal diameter 0.1–0.2 m, crown diameter 0.2–0.4 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms branching, compressed, smooth or finely rugulose, green or olivaceous, 0.5–1 m tall, diameter at base 1.5–3 mm, diameter at apex 0.3–1 mm. Sheaths persistent, with no abscission line, closely convoluted, 10–40 mm long, olivaceous to pale brown, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders membranous margins continuing behind awn, hyaline shoulder 0.1 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute. Sheath-mucro awl- or needleshaped, straight and erect, 2–7 mm long.
Males: male inflorescence with 11–20 spikelets, paniculate, 80–130 mm long, 15–30 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, minute or shorter than spikelets, coriaceous or chartaceous, small grey structures. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, linear, apex acute, 8–45 mm, 2–3 mm, with 10–30 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile or shorter than the spikelets, terete or angular. Male bracts as tall as flowers or taller than flowers, 3.8–4.2 mm long, oblong, rounded or obtuse or acute, cartilaginous, bract upper margin with honeycombed cells, which eventually decay, bract awn minute or absent, bicoloured, with a fawn cartilaginous lower portion, and a black honey-combed upper portion. Male flower 3.3–3.8 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, cartilaginous, petals chartaceous, linear, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel sparsely villous or keel densely villous. Anthers 1.4 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present.
Females: female inflorescence interrupted, 50–110 mm long, 10–20 mm wide, with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile or pedicel simple, linear or elliptical, apex acute, 10–26 mm long, with 8–20 flowers, with 0–2 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers, 7–10 mm long, oblong or ovate, acute, cartilaginous, apical margin with honeycombed cells, darker than body of bract (fawn coloured in the brittle lower cartilaginous portion, with a narrow bank of black hollow cells at the apex), awn minute or absent. Female flower 4.4–4.8 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous, both lateral sepal keels and odd sepal villous, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 4.4–4.8 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 4–4.5 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 3.5–4 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 2 locules, dehiscent.
Fruit: seed (1.4–)1.56(–1.8) mm long, (0.92–)0.96(–1.04) mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter triangular in cross section (unevenly so), brown, smooth (shiney).
endangered. Previously recorded from several localities between Cape Town and Paarl, these have all been destroyed by urbanisation. The species is now known only from Riverlands, where it grows in a local nature reserve. It may be susceptable to inappropriate fire regimes.
Distribution in Western Cape; the Cape Floristic Region West Coast; Known from only two localities. The southern, at Kraaifontein, is now extinct, and the species is now known only from Riverlands near Malmesbury. Occurrence in Provincial Conservation Areas or National Parks in the Western Cape Riverlands.
Altitude 100–200 m. Rockiness of habitat no rocks. Bedrock: Acid coastal sand. Groundwater availability valley bottom seeps, or sandy plains (never waterlogged). Vegetation type fynbos. Very local on well drained sand. Seed dispersal mode undifferentiated.