Vegetative parts: plants clumped or tangled or single isolated shoots, 0.2–0.5 m tall, basal diameter 0.1–0.2 m, crown diameter 0.3–0.5 m, with stolons. Fertile culms sparingly branched or branching, smooth or finely rugulose or finely warty, olivaceous, 0.2–0.5 m tall, diameter at base 0.7–1.2 mm, diameter at apex 0.3–0.6 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 10–25 mm long, golden-brown, apical margins narrowly membranous or broadly membranous (only towards the apices), hyaline shoulders membranous margins continuing behind awn (fused to the awn), hyaline shoulder 0.2–0.4 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acuminate. Sheath-mucro awl- or needleshaped, straight and erect, 3–6 mm long, upper 1/3 of sheath with broad membranous margins, tapering into the awn.
Males: male inflorescence with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets (rarely more than 2), racemose, 20–50 mm long, 10–15 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes caducous, minute, cartilaginous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, oblong or elliptical, apex rounded, 13–18 mm, 6–15 mm, with 5–10 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts shorter than flowers or as tall as flowers, 8–10 mm long, oblong or ovate, acute, cartilaginous, bract upper margin membranous, thinner texture than the body (almost one third of bract length), bract awn minute or absent, lower two thirds pale brown, cartilaginous, upper one third membranous. Male flower 3.5–4.5 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, cartilaginous, petals membranous, oblong, inner tepals shorter than outer tepals. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, glabrous or keel sparsely villous (hardly visible). Anthers 2–2.5 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present.
Females: female inflorescence racemose, 20–50 mm long, 5–7 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets (like bracts), persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile, elliptical, apex acute, 10–20 mm long, with 5–12 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts at least twice as long as flowers, 8–9 mm long, oblong, acute, cartilaginous, apical margin membranous (upper third, often transparent), paler than body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 3.2–4 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals chartaceous (sepals) or membranous (petals), glabrous and smooth or lateral sepal wings of fused hair, giving dentate appearance, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices rounded, inner whorl shorter than outer. Female outer lateral tepals keeled or winged, wings lacerated or deeply lobed, as wide as body or wider than body, hidden by bracts, or bracts are shorter than flowers, 3.3–4.4 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 3–4 mm long. Female inner tepals elliptical, 2–3 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 1 locule, dehiscent.
Distribution in Western Cape; the Cape Floristic Region Northern mountains or Cape Peninsula or South-western mountains or Swartberg and Little Karoo or Langeberg - Outenique mountains; Widespread, from Cederberg to the Cape Peninsula, and along the Langeberg to Garcias Pass, but with surprisingly few collections over this distribution range. Occurrence in Provincial Conservation Areas or National Parks in the Western Cape Cedarberg or Hex or Groot Winterhoek or Limietberg or Nuweberg or Kogelberg or Cape Peninsula or Riviersonderend or Grootvadersbosch.
Altitude 200–1600 m. Rockiness of habitat no rocks, or pebbly. Bedrock: Table Mountain Shale. Groundwater availability well-drained soils, or valley bottom seeps. Vegetation type fynbos. Mostly found on dry stony slopes, in well-drained habitats. However, some collections are from boggy habitats, such as the southern aspect of the mountains above Hermanus. It may be that the species is variable in its ecology. It seems rarely to be locally common, but seems to occur as isolated plants, part of the general vegetation. Plants coppicing from the rhizome or base after fire. Seed dispersal mode undifferentiated.