T: New Zealand, Castle Hill Basin, Broken River, T.Kirk; holo: WELT11170; iso: K [as T.Kirk 630].
Perennials, 20–70 (–100) cm tall, ±caespitose; rhizome short-noded, slender. Stems densely tufted, leafless, slender, terete, 0.5–1.7 (–2.5) mm in diam., soft, often ±decumbent from base, mid-green, shining; ridges 17–40, broad, not very distinct; subepidermal sclerenchyma strands present, some connected to small vascular bundles; epidermis cells uniform; pith continuous, of perfectly astericiform cells. Cataphylls few, 1.5–7 cm long, with awn-like rudiment of blade, tight, abaxially reddish brown distally, dark red-brown or black and glossy at base, adaxially silvery to golden brown. Lower bract 6–15 (–32) cm long, exceeding inflorescence; lower bract sheath slightly dilated. Inflorescence 2–5 (–10) cm long, diffuse with ±curved branches; flowers numerous, solitary. Bracteoles triangular-ovate, to c. 1 mm long, scarious to brownish-scarious. Tepals equal to subequal, linear-lanceolate, acute, stramineous-brown, often tinged red-brown, with narrow membranous margins; outer tepals 2.0–3.0 mm long, carinate, longer than or equalling inner ones; inner tepals also carinate. Stamens (4–) 6; anthers c. 0.4–0.9 mm long; filaments c. 0.4–0.6 mm long; style c. 0.1 mm long; stigmas c. 0.3 mm long. Capsule unilocular, triseptate, ellipsoid to obovoid, 2–2.5 (–3.3) mm long, exceeding perianth, slightly trigonous, acutish to obtuse, not or shortly mucronate, golden brown, often red-brown near apex. Seeds ovoid, c. 0.5 × c. 0.3 mm, pale brown, apiculate, c. 15–20-striate, densely reticulate; appendages absent. 2n = 40, fide B.G.Briggs, unpublished [voucher: NSW90683]. Fig. 146. Australia, New Zealand. Introduced in South Africa. 27: cpp. 50: QLD, SOA, TAS, VIC, WAU. 51: NZN, NZS. Various moist, often shady places. 27. CAPE PROVINCES: Eastern Cape, Amatole Mtns, N of Elandsberg, P.B.Phillipson 812 (S). 50. NEW SOUTH WALES: South Coast, Kiah (Towamba) R., NE of Kiah, S.W.L.Jacobs 2926 (NSW, PRA). TASMANIA: Warners Landing Rd at Kelly Basin turnoff, K.D.Hill 1494, L.A.S.Johnson & D.F.Blaxell (NSW, PRA); West Coast, Balfour, A.Moscal 4796 (HO, NSW, PRA). 51. NEW ZEALAND NORTH: Taheke, Nov 1874, S.Berggren (LD); Otaua, Hokianga, Nov 1874, S.Berggren (LD).