T: New Zealand, North Island, summit of the Ruahine Mtns, W.Colenso 1729; lecto: K, fide E.Edgar, New Zealand J. Bot. 4: 178 (1966); isolecto: K.
Perennials to 3 cm tall, dwarf, densely caespitose, cushion-forming; rhizome erect, many-headed; stolons absent. Stem reduced. Leaves rigid, 1–3 cm long; base broad, 1.0–2.5 mm wide at base, narrowing to 0.5–0.8 mm wide in canaliculate distal part; margins smooth, glabrous (hairs confined to sheath mouth); apex acute or obtuse. Lower bract herbaceous, usually 0.5–0.8 mm long, scarcely exceeding inflorescence. Inflorescence sunken among leaves (stem not elongating with fruit ripening), congested, 6–8-flowered, composed of 1–3 few-flowered clusters. Bracteoles scarious, denticulate, ovate, to 1.5 mm long. Tepals equal, glabrous, lanceolate, acute, pale brown, usually 1.4–2.3 mm long; margins whitish, usually broad. Stamens usually 6, rarely 3–4; anthers 0.3–0.6 mm long; filaments 0.5–1.0 mm long; style c. 0.1–0.4 mm long; stigmas 0.7–1.8 mm long. Capsule pale castaneous-brown, subacute, ±equalling perianth; capsule segments 1.6–2.0 × 1.0–1.3 mm. Seeds broadly ovoid, pale castaneous-brown, 0.9–1.1 mm long, 0.7–0.9 mm wide; appendage to 0.15 mm long, fibrillate. 2n=12 [AL], fide H.Nordenskiöld, New Zealand J. Bot. 4: 188 (1966); J.B.Hair, New Zealand J. Bot. 5: 18 (1967).