T: New Zealand, Lincoln, opposite school, in damp hollow near golf course, 13 Jan 1964, E.Edgar; holo: CHR145441.
Perennials, (20–) 45–125 cm tall, densely caespitose; rhizome short, short-noded, 3–4 mm diam. Stem leafless, 1–2.5 mm diam., ±soft, grey-green, ±glaucous; ridges 30–60, not distinct or slightly so, subepidermal sclerenchyma strands present; pith interrupted, of astericiform cells; epidermis cells on ridges not enlarged. Cataphylls few, lax, to c. 10 × 0.7 cm, abaxially dull yellow-brown distally, very dark red-brown or black and glossy at base, adaxially silvery or stramineous, glossy. Lower bract 10–33 cm long, exceeding inflorescence; sheath narrow. Inflorescence pseudolateral, 1–5 (–10) cm long, diffuse or head-like; flowers numerous, densely to loosely clustered. Bracteoles ovate, c. 1 mm long, scarious to membranous. Tepals ±lanceolate, stramineous-brown with broad membranous margins; outer tepals longer than or equalling inner, 1.8–2.5 mm long, ±acute; inner tepals broadly acute to ±obtuse. Stamens 3 (–6); anthers c. 0.5–0.6 mm long; filaments c. 0.5 mm long; style c. 0.1 mm long; stigmas to c. 0.5 mm long. Capsule triseptate, ellipsoid, 2–2.5 mm long, longer than or equalling perianth, obtuse, not or shortly mucronate, golden brown. Seeds narrowly ovoid, c. 0.4 × 0.2 mm, apiculate, pale brown, c. 12–16-striate, densely reticulate; appendages absent.