Buchenau in H.G.A.Engler (ed.), Pflanzenr. , IV, 36: 128 (1906)
Perennials, 30–70 (–90) cm tall, forming dense stands, with short-noded creeping rhizome. Stem leafless, slender, terete or slightly compressed, 0.8–1.5 mm in diam.; ridges 15–25 (–30), conspicuous when dry; subepidermal sclerenchyma strands present, flat and not connected to vascular bundles; epidermis cells uniform; bundles in one ±regular row and sometimes interspaced with aerial tubes; pith arachnoid, later evanescent. Cataphylls usually 2–3; upper cataphylls to c. 4–6 cm long, ±loose, acuminate, abaxially dirty stramineous above, darker at base. Inflorescence pseudolateral, lax, usually simple; flowers 3–5, 1 or 2 subsessile and the rest with pedicel up to 18 mm long and curved before anthesis; first erect bract (10–) 15–25 cm long, 1/4 to almost as long as stem. Bracteoles 2–2.5 mm long, ovate, acute, membranous. Tepals unequal; outer tepals conspicuously longer, 3.3–4.7 mm long, narrowly lanceolate, apiculate to subulate, usually incurved; inner tepals oblong-lanceolate, subobtuse, all light green to stramineous with wide membranous margins. Stamens 6; anthers c. 0.5 mm long; filaments c. 1 mm long; style c. 0.1 mm long; stigmas c. 1 mm long. Capsule trigonous-ellipsoid to subglobose, c. 3 mm long, about equalling inner tepals, obtuse, mucronate (mucro c. 0.2–0.3 mm long), greenish to stramineous, glossy. Seeds 0.6–0.7 × c. 0.3 mm, ±obliquely obovate, reticulate, reddish-brown; appendages absent.