Vegetative parts: plants clumped or tufted (Often with clusters of sterile branches at the base of the plants), 0.2–1 m tall, basal diameter 0.05–0.2 m, crown diameter 0.1–0.3 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons or with stolons. Fertile culms sparingly branched or branching, roughly warty (rough to the fingernail, often white-dotted), olivaceous, 0.3–1 m tall, diameter at base 0.5–3.5 mm, diameter at apex 0.3–0.5 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted or loosely convoluted, 7–20 mm long, green to brown, apical margins coriaceous, like the rest of the body or narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders tall, acute, hyaline shoulder 0.5–1 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute or obtuse. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect, 2–6 mm long, large membranous shoulders decay, but give lacerated appearance.
Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets or 21–50 spikelets, racemose or paniculate (for larger inflorescences branched from the base of the inflorescence), 20–150 mm long, 10–25 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, like the floral bracts or shorter than spikelets, coriaceous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, oblong, at least some curved or all straight, apex rounded, 8–20 mm, 5–7 mm, with 5–15 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts taller than flowers, 4.5–6 mm long, oblong, rounded or obtuse or acute, cartilaginous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent, concolours, pale brown. Male flower 2.8–4.5 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 sparsely villous. Anthers 1.5–2.5 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present.
Females: female inflorescence paniculate or racemose, 10–100 mm long, 5–20 mm wide, with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile, oblong, apex rounded or obtuse, 7–20 mm long, with 3–10 flowers, with 0–2 sterile bracts. Female bracts taller than flowers (very few specimens as tall or shorter), 5–8 mm long, oblong, acute, cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, 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, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 3.5–4.5 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 3.5–4.2 mm long. Female inner tepals ovate, 2.5–4 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, white, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 1 locule, dehiscent.
Fruit: seed 1.2–1.3 mm long, 0.9–1 mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical or oblong, shape in diameter triangular in cross section, silvery, colliculate.
Distribution in Western Cape, or Eastern Cape; the Cape Floristic Region Cape Peninsula or South-western mountains or Bredasdorp Plains or Swartberg and Little Karoo or Langeberg - Outenique mountains or Eastern Cape; A widespread species, mostly from the lowlands and foothills of the mountains, but occasionally also found on the middle slopes. It reaches Grahamstown to the east, and the Cape Peninsula and Franshoek to the west. Occurrence in Provincial Conservation Areas or National Parks in the Western Cape Limietberg or Nuweberg or Kogelberg or Cape Peninsula or De Hoop or Grootvadersbosch or Outeniqua or Towerkop or Swartberg or Kammanassie.
Altitude 10–1700 m. Rockiness of habitat pebbly. Bedrock: Table Mountain Shale, or Shale, or Limestone, or Silcretes. Groundwater availability well-drained soils. Vegetation type fynbos. One of the commonest restioid species of the lower slopes and lowlands in the southern part of the Cape Floristic Region. The species is found on well-drained slopes, generally on stony or gravelly soils. Occasionally it also occurs in slight seepages. It never seems to form monospecific stands, but occurs mixed with the rest of the vegetation - typical of a resprouting restioid. In the Great Swartberg the species ascends to the middle slopes of the mountains, otherwise it rarely seems to exceed an altitude of 500 m. Plants coppicing from the rhizome or base after fire (L5294). Seed dispersal mode undifferentiated.
horticulture. On sale at Kirstenbosch only in 1994.