T: India, Sikkim, Yakche, N of Lachung, 27 43'17"N, 88445'02"E, 3105 m, 14 Jul 1996, Long & H.Noltie 209; holo: E; iso: TI, PE, GH, CAL, BSHC. [as 'tobdenii']
Perennials, 9–33 cm tall, forming dense stands; rhizome short-noded, creeping. Stem leafless, terete with a single shallow groove, 0.7–1 mm diam., ±soft, green; ridges 20–25, inconspicuous, ±distinct when dry; subepidermal sclerenchyma strands present, some connected to vascular bundles in one circle; pith interrupted or continuous, of astericiform cells. Cataphylls few, ±tight; uppermost cataphylls 2–3 cm long, striate, abaxially stramineous above, yellow-brown to brown and glossy at base, adaxially stramineous-silvery, glossy; apex truncate with small awn-like blade. Probably some single, terete leaves from brachyblasts of the rhizome. Lower bract 4–6 cm long, exceeding the inflorescence; sheath very narrow. Inflorescence pseudolateral, c. 2 × 2 cm, diffuse; flowers 9–35, solitary. Bracteoles ovate, 0.9–1.0 × 0.8 mm, papery, reddish-brown. Tepals subequal; outer tepals 2.4–3 × 0.5–0.7 mm, concave, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, reddish-brown, shining; inner tepals 2.5–2.7 × 0.6–0.7 mm, similar to outer ones but flatter and with broader green midrib; margins red-brown. Stamens 3; anthers c. 0.6 mm long; filaments 1.0–1.4 mm long; style 0.3–0.4 mm long; stigmas recurved, c. 0.2 mm long. Capsule unilocular, ±trigonous-ovoid, 2.6 × 1.1 mm, equalling or slightly shorter than tepals, ±obtuse with c. 0.2 mm mucro, dark brown, shining. Seeds 0.5 × 0.3 mm, oblong-ellipsoid, orange-brown, dark at base.