T: New South Wales, Southern Tablelands, Diggers Creek, Kosciusko Plateau, 4950 ft, 17 May 1976, L.A.S.Johnson 8280; holo: NSW; iso: CANB, K.
Perennials, 35–120 cm tall, rhizomatous. Rhizome creeping, short-noded; stems in ±irregular ±dense rows. Stem leafless, terete, 2–3 mm diam., ±hard, mid-green to bright green; ridges 35–60, prominent; dorsal epidermis cells not enlarged; pith of astericiform cells, continuous or occasionally partly with small lacunae. Cataphylls few, usually 2–3 (–4); upper cataphylls 5–15 cm long, ±lax, abaxially dull yellow distally, dull dark orange-brown at base, adaxially silvery to golden brown. Lower bract 4–20 cm long, exceeding inflorescence; sheath narrow. Inflorescence 2–10 cm long, conspicuously reddish, usually in a single many-flowered lobate congested head, when diffuse then in 2–6 dense many-flowered glomerules, with some subsessile and others on c. 1 mm thick rigid peduncles. Bracteoles ovate, c. 1 mm long, castaneous-brownish to scarious. Tepals lanceolate, acute; central band stramineous-brown with red-brown sides; outer tepals 2–3 mm long, longer than inner ones, with narrow membranous margins; inner tepals with ±broad membranous margins. Stamens 3 (–5); anthers 0.4–0.6 mm long, equalling or shorter than c. 0.5–0.7 mm filaments; style c. 0.1–0.2 mm long; stigmas to c. 0.7 mm long. Capsule triseptate, ellipsoid, c. 2.2–3.0 mm long, exceeding or equalling perianth, acutish to obtuse, not or shortly mucronate, ±dark red-brown or occasionally dark golden brown. Seeds narrowly ovoid, 0.4–0.5 × 0.2–0.25 mm, 16–20-striate, densely reticulate, distinctly apiculate; apices often pale, to 0.1 mm long; appendages absent.