Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.2–0.7 m tall, basal diameter 0.01–0.05 m, crown diameter 0.1–0.3 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms unbranched (on coastal plain from Rooiels to Agulhas) or sparingly branched or branching (mountains), smooth, olivaceous, 0.2–0.7 m tall, diameter at base 0.4–1 mm, diameter at apex 0.3–0.6 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 6–20 mm long, pale brown to gray, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders absent or membranous margins continuing behind awn, hyaline shoulder 0.01 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute or obtuse or rounded. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect, 2–5 mm long.
Males: male inflorescence with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets, racemose, 15–45 mm long, 5–15 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, like the floral bracts or as tall as spikelets, coriaceous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, oblong or elliptical, apex rounded, 6–15 mm, 3–7 mm, with 2–10 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts shorter than flowers or as tall as flowers, 3–4.5 mm long, square, rounded or obtuse, cartilaginous, bract upper margin with honeycombed cells, which eventually decay (only at the very tip, and sharply demarcated from the rest), bract awn minute or absent, shiny brown bracts, with abrupt black tips. Male flower 3.3–4.3 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, cartilaginous, petals membranous, oblong, inner tepals shorter than outer tepals. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel densely villous. Anthers 1.8–2 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present (and quite large).
Females: female inflorescence racemose, 7–40 mm long, 4–15 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets (very rarely as long as the spikelets), persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile, elliptical, apex truncate or rounded, 6–10 mm long, with 1–3 flowers, with 2–5 sterile bracts. Female bracts shorter than flowers, 2–4.5 mm long, square, rounded or obtuse, cartilaginous, apical margin with honeycombed cells (sharply demarcated from other cells), darker than body of bract (sharply distinct), awn minute or absent. Female flower 4–5 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous, keels of lateral sepals densely villous (but only at apices of the keels), midrib flush with the tepal body, apices rounded or acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals like other tepals or conduplicate, 4–5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 3.5–4.5 mm long. Female inner tepals ovate, 3.5–4.5 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 3 locules, dehiscent.
Fruit: seed (1.68–)1.76(–1.93) mm long, (0.8–)1.12(–1.24) mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter round in cross section, white, colliculate.
Distribution in Western Cape; the Cape Floristic Region Northern mountains or South-western mountains or Bredasdorp Plains; Most of the collections are from the Kogelberg mountains, between Rooiels and Kleinmond. However, there are outlier collections north to Mostert Hoek Twins, inland to Jonaskop, and eastwards to Viljoenshof. Occurrence in Provincial Conservation Areas or National Parks in the Western Cape Limietberg or Nuweberg or Kogelberg or Riviersonderend.
Altitude 50–1500 m. Rockiness of habitat no rocks. Bedrock: Table Mountain Shale. Groundwater availability well-drained soils. Vegetation type fynbos. The collections all appear to be from well-drained habitats, but the soil varies from sandy to stony or rocky. Most collections are also from exposed habitats. Seed dispersal mode undifferentiated.
horticulture. On sale at Kirstenbosch only in 1997.