Vegetative parts: plants tufted or single isolated shoots, 0.3–1 m tall, basal diameter 0.05–0.15 m, crown diameter 0.1–0.5 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons or with stolons. Fertile culms branching or much branched, smooth or finely warty or roughly warty, olivaceous, 0.5–1 m tall, diameter at base 2–5 mm, diameter at apex 0.3–2 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted or loosely convoluted, 9–30 mm long, dark brown with some golden speckling, apical margins coriaceous, like the rest of the body or narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders tall, acute, hyaline shoulder 0.5–0.8 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, obtuse or truncate. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect, 2–10 mm long, loosely convoluted, truncate, with the large membranous shoulders soon lost. Males: male inflorescence with 11–20 spikelets or 21–50 spikelets or 50–100 spikelets, paniculate (often with several quite distinct branches), 30–200 mm long, 10–40 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, shorter than spikelets, coriaceous, quite sheath-like. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, oblong, apex rounded, 8–18 mm, 4–6 mm, with 6–20 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets, terete or angular. Male bracts as tall as flowers or taller than flowers, 3–5 mm long, ovate, acuminate, margins shallowly toothed, cartilaginous, bract upper margin with honeycombed cells, which eventually decay. Male bract ciliate. Male bract awn minute or absent, the acuminate bract apex overtopping the flowers. Male flower 2.9–3.3 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. Anthers 1.5–2 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present. Females: female inflorescence paniculate or racemose, 20–150 mm long, 10–35 mm wide, with 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets or 21–50 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet pedicel sparsely branching, oblong, apex rounded, 8–18 mm long, with 4–7 flowers, with 3–7 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers or as tall as flowers or taller than flowers, 3.5–6.5 mm long, ovate, acuminate. Female bract ciliate. Female bracts cartilaginous, apical margin with honeycombed cells, darker than body of bract, margins shallowly lacerated or toothed, awn minute or absent. Female flower 3.5–4.5 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous, keels of lateral sepals sparsely villous or keels of lateral sepals densely villous, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices rounded or acute or acuminate, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, exserted past bracts, 3.5–4.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong or ovate, 3.5–4.5 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong or ovate, 3.5–4 mm long. Staminodes present (often very well developed, with disfunctional anthers). Styles feathery, white, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 2 locules, dehiscent. Fruit: seed 1.4–1.6 mm long, 1–1.1 mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter triangular in cross section, brown (reddish), smooth.