T: [Cape] Port Elizabeth, J.F.Drège e; syn: G, K, LD, P, W ['J.F.Drège e' was generally proposed as a type by Adamson, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 50: 26 (1935)]; [Cape] bei Cap Recief und Port Elizabeth, C.F.Ecklon & C.Zeyher 9; syn: BOL, W, S; C.F.Ecklon & C.Zeyher 780; syn: n.v.
Perennials, 11–35 cm tall, caespitose; rhizome shortly ascending, many-headed; stolons absent. Leaves basal and subbasal (densely inserted to 5 cm up the stem), mid-green to pale green, 5–17 cm long, c. (1.5–) 2–5 (–7) mm wide; margins partly hyaline-bordered; apex acute; sheaths closed, later split, base green; auricles ±absent. Lower bract leaf-like, c. 1.5–3.5 cm long, usually exceeding inflorescence. Inflorescence usually congested, a globose head of 1–3 (–12) usually 6–12-flowered clusters, or 1–3 clusters shortly pedunculate. Tepals subequal; outer tepals lanceolate, carinate, acuminate-aristate, c. 3.7–4.2 mm long, greenish or pale brown to castaneous-brown, with central band often greenish, ±scabrid; inner tepals ovate-lanceolate, ±obtuse, sometimes shorter than the outer; margins membranous, broad. Stamens 6; anthers 0.5–0.7 mm long; filaments 0.6–0.8 mm long; style 0.4–0.8 mm long; stigmas to c. 1 mm long, suberect. Capsule ±ovoid, trigonous, subacute, apiculate, c. 2.5–3.0 mm long, shorter than perianth, pale greenish brown to castaneous; mucro to c. 0.2 mm long. Seeds ovoid, pale brown, 0.4–0.5 × c. 0.3 mm, faintly reticulate; apex whitish apiculate; appendages absent.