T: New Zealand, North Island, East Coast, Hawkes Bay, near Eparaima, J.W.Colenso 3825; lecto: K, fide A.Lourteig, Publ. Comit. Nat. Franc. Rech. Antarct., Biol. 23: 42 (1968); iso: BM, P, W, WELT.
Perennials, 5–30 cm tall, caespitose; rhizome creeping, 1.5–2.0 mm in diam., with filamentous cover of remains of old cataphylls; internodes abbreviated; stems in dense rows, erect, ±canaliculate, 0.4–0.7 mm in diam. Cataphylls 1–3 per stem, to 1.5 cm long, yellowish brown; blade rudimentary, to 5 mm long. Leaves basal, 1–2 per stem, 5–20 cm long, 0.3–0.6 mm in diam., obtuse-angled, with a basal adaxial groove; sheaths 0.7–1.7 cm long; auricles rounded, c. 0.3 mm long. Lower bract 1.5–5.0 cm long, leaf-like, apparently as a continuation of stem, exceeding inflorescence; middle bracts filiform, shorter. Inflorescence terminal to ±pseudolateral, compound, 2–10-flowered, of 2–3 short unilateral cymes. Bracteoles c. 1 mm long. Tepals unequal, lanceolate, acute, light green becoming brown to stramineous-brown; margins scarious; outer tepals 2.3–3.0 mm long; inner tepals 2.0–2.5 mm long. Stamens 6; anthers 0.3–0.4 mm long; filaments 0.8–1.0 mm long. Capsule triseptate, ellipsoid to oblong, trigonous with ±concave sides, apiculate, later ±truncate, 2.3–2.6 × 1.2–1.6 mm, glossy, thin-walled, ±shorter than perianth. Seeds ±ovoid, slightly apiculate, 0.4–0.6 × 0.3–0.4 mm, brown, finely reticulate with narrow transverse polygonal fields; appendages absent.