Perennials 2–6 (–8) cm tall, densely caespitose, compact, cushion-forming; rhizome many-headed, ±short; stolons absent. Leaves mostly basal to subbasal (cauline leaf 0–1; blade reduced to c. 0.5 cm when developed), numerous, dense, usually to 2 (–4) cm long, 0.7–1.3 mm wide, canaliculate, very sparsely ciliate to glabrous (indumentum confined to sheath mouth); margins smooth; tip obtuse to subacute. Lower bract usually brownish-membranous, 2–5 (–10) mm, shorter than or equalling inflorescence. Inflorescence reduced to a single 4–10-flowered cluster (rarely 2–3 crowded clusters with up to 20 flowers). Bracteoles ±ovate, scarious, often suffused brownish at base, to 1.5 mm long. Tepals equal, glabrous, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, usually 2.6–3.3 mm long; margins scarious, narrow to broad, usually distinct. Stamens 6, rarely only 3; anthers 0.6–0.8 mm long; filaments c. 0.4 mm long; style 0.7–0.8 mm long; stigmas c. 1.2–1.5 mm long. Capsule oblong-obovoid, subacute, dark to blackish brown, conspicuously shorter than perianth; capsule segments 1.5–1.7 × 0.9–1.0 mm. Seeds ±ellipsoid, deep brown, 0.9–1.0 mm long, 0.5–0.6 mm wide; appendage distinct, 0.1–0.2 mm long. 2n=12 [AL], fide H.Nordenskiöld, New Zealand J. Bot. 4: 188 (1966).