Pillans, Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 29: 341 (1942)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.2–0.6 m tall, basal diameter 0.03–0.06 m, crown diameter 0.3–1 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons (but very poorly known). Fertile culms unbranched or sparingly branched or branching (often with new branches innovating on the culms, and borne quite stiffly, and spreading outwards from a central base), smooth or finely warty, olivaceous, 0.2–0.6 m tall, diameter at base 0.5–1 mm, diameter at apex 0.4–0.8 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 8–16 mm long, pale brown, often golden-speckled, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders membranous margins continuing behind awn, hyaline shoulder 0.1–0.3 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, obtuse. Sheath-mucro penicellate or awl- or needleshaped, straight and erect or recurved, 1.5–4 mm long, membranous margins soon decaying, but the awn is persistent in most cases. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets, racemose or paniculate, 15–60 mm long, 10–25 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, minute or shorter than spikelets, coriaceous, variable in size, grey, at base of spikelet. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, elliptical, apex rounded or obtuse, 7–13 mm, 4–7 mm, with 6–15 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile or shorter than the spikelets, terete or angular. Male bracts taller than flowers, 3.5–4.5 mm long, oblong, obtuse or apiculate, cartilaginous, bract upper margin with honeycombed cells, which eventually decay, bract awn less than half as long as the bract body, awn is dark and reflexed, while it is flanked by a membranous upper margin, which is pale. Male flower 3.5–4.5 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, cartilaginous, petals chartaceous or membranous, oblong, inner tepals shorter than outer tepals. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel densely villous. Anthers 1.5–1.7 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present. Females: female inflorescence racemose, 10–30 mm long, 8–15 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile, elliptical, apex rounded or obtuse, 7–10 mm long, with 1 flowers or 2 flowers, with 2–5 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers or as tall as flowers, reflexed, 5–6 mm long, oblong, rounded or apiculate, cartilaginous, apical margin with honeycombed cells, paler than body of bract (along broad membranous margins) or darker than body of bract (on the awn), margins deeply lacerated or toothed (usually in the broad membranous margins), awn less than half as long as the bract body. Female flower 4–5 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, 4–5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 4–5 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 3.8–4.8 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 2 locules, dehiscent. Fruit: seed 2–2.1 mm long, 1.25–1.4 mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical or oblong, shape in diameter triangular in cross section, brown, colliculate.