(Kunth) Pillans, Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 16: 386 (1928)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.2–0.6 m tall, basal diameter 0.05–0.1 m, crown diameter 0.02–0.1 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons. Fertile culms unbranched, round (not compressed), solid or with a small central cavity, smooth or finely warty, olivaceous, 0.2–0.6 m tall, diameter at base 0.8–1.2 mm, diameter at apex 0.6–1.1 mm. Branch axil indumentum absent. Clusters of sterile branches at the nodes of the fertile branches absent. Sheaths more than 1 per culm, persistent, with no abscission line, closely convoluted, 20–45 mm long, margins entire, brown, upper 1/3 in colour and texture similar to the lower 2/3, apical margins coriaceous, like the rest of the body, hyaline shoulders absent, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute. Sheath-mucro penicellate or awl- or needleshaped, straight and erect or twisted, 0.5–1.5 mm long. Sterile branch leaf-sheath 4–15 mm long, leaf-blade 10–20 mm long; leaf blade 1 mm wide. Males: male inflorescence with 2–5 spikelets, paniculate, 15–40 mm long, 15–35 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, shorter than spikelets, cartilaginous. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets pendulous on flexible pedicels, obovate or orbicular, all straight, apex rounded, 10–20 mm, 10–15 mm, with 20–50 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets or as long as the spikelets, flattened. Male bracts taller than flowers or more than twice as tall as flowers, 8–11 mm long, oblong, acute, margins entire, chartaceous, bract upper margin like body of bract, bract awn minute or absent, somewhat crinkled at the margins. Male flower 4–6 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, chartaceous, linear or oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, glabrous. Anthers 1.5–3 mm long, included in the flowers. Pistillode present. Females: female inflorescence linear, 15–60 mm long, 5–10 mm wide, with 1 spikelet (generally) or 2–5 spikelets (very rarely). Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous. Female spathellae inconspicuous or absent. Female spikelet sessile, linear or oblong, apex acute, 7–40 mm long, with 10–25 flowers, with 0–1 sterile bracts. Female bracts at least twice as long as flowers, erect, 9–15 mm long, oblong (lanceolate), acute or acuminate, coriaceous or chartaceous or cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract (decays and becomes lacerated with age), same as body of bract, margins entire, awn minute or absent. Female flower 3.5–4.5 mm long, regular, without a fleshy pedicel, six tepals. Female tepals chartaceous, glabrous and smooth, at least as tall as nut, wrapped around it and obscuring the surface, midrib flush with the tepal body, margins entire, apices obtuse, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals keeled or winged, wings entire, narrower than body, hidden by bracts, or bracts are shorter than flowers, 3–4 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 3–4 mm long. Female inner tepals oblong, 3–4 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles flattened, white, 2. Style bases seated on a stylopodium (thickened at base and extends into a horny cap on top of ovary). Ovary with 1 locule, indehiscent. Fruit: indehiscent fruits with a softer ovary wall. Perianth presence on fruits persistent, winged. Shape of winged dispersal unit oblong, narrower than long. Nut apex smooth, without a distinct cap, wall smooth, (1.96–)2.53(–2.8) mm long, (1.44–)1.59(–1.76) mm diam., shape in side view elliptical, shape in top view elliptical in cross section, brown or black. Elaiosome absent.