T: New Zealand, South Island, Central Otago, Old Man Range, 5000 ft, D.Petrie; holo: WELT12358.
Perennials to 4 cm tall, forming very dense cushions 12 cm in diam. or more; rhizome densely branched, many-headed, densely covered with numerous leaves, at base greyish brown, with old leaves persisting in cushion and only distal leaves green. Leaves numerous, very densely inserted along proximal 2/3–3/4 of stem (imbricate), usually 5–8 mm long, 0.4–0.7 mm wide; blade canaliculate, glabrous; sheath mouth very sparsely ciliate; margins smooth; tip obtuse to subacute. Lower bracts 2, reddish brown to membranous, usually (2–) 3–4 mm long, not exceeding inflorescence. Inflorescence few-flowered, of a single small (1–) 2–4 (–5)-flowered loose cluster overtopping the cushion by 0.5–1.5 cm. Bracteoles to 1.5 mm long, scarious to brownish-membranous, denticulate above. Tepals equal, glabrous, lanceolate, acute, 2.0–2.8 mm long, brown to blackish brown; margins distinct, ±narrow, pale brown to whitish-membranous. Stamens 6; anthers 0.5–0.7 mm long; filaments 0.5–0.6 mm long; style 0.5–0.6 mm long; stigmas 1.2–1.4 mm long. Capsule ±oblong-obovoid, subacute, ±shorter than perianth; capsule segments 1.7–1.9 × c. 1.0 mm. Seeds pale castaneous-brown, ±ellipsoid, 0.8–0.9 mm long, 0.5 mm wide; appendage distinct, white, c. 0.2 mm long. 2n=12 [AL], fide H.Nordenskiöld, New Zealand J. Bot. 4: 188 (1966).