Perennials 25–60 (–120) cm tall, caespitose or forming dense stands, with short-noded rhizome. Stem leafless, soft, terete, 1–2 (–3) mm diam., greyish green to mid-green, smooth; ridges 20–50, ±hardly conspicuous when dry; subepidermal sclerenchyma strands narrow but most connected by radial lamellae to vascular bundles; epidermis cells uniform; bundles in three rows; pith of perfectly astericiform cells, continuous, very loose; sterile stems present. Cataphylls 3–4, 3–19 cm long, ±tight, abaxially pale stramineous and dull distally, ±dark red-brown and ±glossy at base, adaxially whitish with a pearly sheen. Inflorescence 2–4 (–9) cm long, usually dense but not congested; flowers many, solitary, short-pedicellate. Lower bract (5–) 10–20 (–35) cm long, 1/4–1/3 as long as stem, much exceeding inflorescence; sheath narrow with membranous margin to 0.3 mm wide, often constricted below inflorescence. Tepals subequal, lanceolate, 1.9–4.0 mm long, acuminate, light green or later stramineous with darker reddish stripes along central band and membranous margin. Stamens 3; anthers (0.3–) 0.6–0.7 (–0.8) mm long. Capsule trilocular, 2–3 mm long, equalling or slightly exceeding perianth, trigonous-ovoid to ellipsoid, golden brown to dark red-brown. Seeds 0.4–0.6 mm long, obovoid, brown.