Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 1–2 m tall, basal diameter 0.2–1 m, crown diameter 0.3–1.5 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons or with stolons (often the culms aggregate basally in a massive woody knot). Fertile culms branching, smooth, olivaceous, 1–2 m tall, diameter at base 4–10 mm, diameter at apex 0.8–3 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 12–40 mm long, reddish brown, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acuminate. Sheath-mucro absent or awl- or needleshaped, straight and erect, 0–7 mm long, upper margins decaying leaving an acuminate coriaceous portion behind. Males: male inflorescence with 21–50 spikelets or 50–100 spikelets, paniculate, 40–150 mm long, 20–40 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, as tall as spikelets, coriaceous, red to brown, finely golden speckled. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, oblong or elliptical, apex rounded, 7–15 mm, 4–6 mm, with 4–6 flowers, pedicels as long as the spikelets or longer than the spikelets, terete or angular. Male bracts taller than flowers, 5–8 mm long, oblong, acute, chartaceous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent, pale with darker, reddish stippling near the tips. Male flower 3.5–4.5 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, cartilaginous, petals membranous, oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel densely villous (oblique). Anthers 1.9–2.1 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present. Females: female inflorescence linear or racemose, 40–110 mm long, 10–20 mm wide, with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets. Female spathes longer than the spikelets (quite variable from more than twice as long, to only marginally longer than the spikelets), obscuring spikelet, persistent, cartilaginous. Female spikelet sessile, oblong, apex rounded, 12–20 mm long, with 1–6 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers, 7–15 mm long, ovate, acuminate, chartaceous, apical margin like rest of bract, paler than body of bract (with reddish speckling), awn minute or absent. Female flower 7–8 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous, keels of lateral sepals densely villous, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 7–8 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 5.5–7 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong or ovate, 5.5–7 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 1 locule, dehiscent. Fruit: seed (2.2–)2.66(–3.04) mm long, (1.52–)1.84(–2.16) mm in diameter, shape in side view ovate or elliptical, shape in diameter triangular in cross section or plano-convex in cross section, silvery or brown, smooth (shiny).