T: Queensland, Rockhampton, W.Armstrong; lecto: MEL, designated here by K.L.Wilson.
Perennials, 75–145 cm tall; rhizome creeping, short-noded; stems in dense groups. Stem leafless, terete, 2–4.5 mm diam., ±soft to firm, grey-green, glaucous; ridges 40–100, indistinct; dorsal cells not enlarged; pith interrupted but often continuous above, of astericiform cells. Cataphylls few, usually 3–4, to c. 30 cm long, ±lax, abaxially dull pale stramineous-brown to golden brown distally, dark castaneous-brown and glossy at base, adaxially stramineous-silvery to golden brown or coppery. Lower bract 10–32 cm long, exceeding inflorescence; sheath narrow or slightly dilated. Inflorescence 3–10 cm long, diffuse; flowers numerous, solitary or occasionally loosely clustered. Bracteoles ovate, to c. 0.7 mm long, scarious. Tepals lanceolate, stramineous-brown with broad membranous margins; outer tepals 1.7–2.3 mm long, longer than or equalling inner ones, acute with ±inrolled apex (and thus subulate); inner tepals obtuse or almost auriculate, sometimes mucronate, later ±subacute. Stamens 3 (–6); anthers c. 0.6–0.8 mm long; filaments c. 0.5 mm long; style 0.1 mm long; stigmas to c. 0.5 mm long. Capsule triseptate, ellipsoid, 1.8–2.5 mm long, exceeding or ±equalling perianth, obtuse, not or shortly mucronate, golden brown. Seeds ellipsoid-ovoid, c. 0.4–0.5 × c. 0.2 mm, apiculate, 16–20-striate, densely reticulate, pale brown; appendages absent.