T: New Zealand, Bunnythorpe, near Palmerston North, 6 Mar 1930, V.D.Zotov; holo: CHR1810; iso: NSW.
Perennials 25–75 cm tall, densely caespitose; rhizome ±creeping, 2–4 mm in diam., short-noded. Stem leafless, terete, 0.75–1.5 mm thick, dull green or reddish, ±smooth with 15–25 inconspicuous ridges; subepidermal sclerenchyma strands present; epidermis cells uniform; pith of perfectly astericiform cells, regularly interrupted with very small lacunae between longer compact parts. Cataphylls 3–4, tight; upper cataphylls 4–7 cm long, ±dull, castaneous and glossy at base, adaxially ±stramineous; lower cataphylls bright red-brown. Lower bract to c. 10 cm long, much exceeding inflorescence; sheath narrow. Inflorescence pseudolateral, of two c. 1 cm wide clusters; one cluster with short peduncle; other cluster with long and slender peduncle; each with a small side cluster; flowers usually 20–40, usually densely aggregated. Bracteoles ±broadly ovate, acute to acuminate. Bracteoles ovate, to c. 1 mm long, ±scarious. Tepals lanceolate, red-brown with light green centre at anthesis, becoming entirely red-brown to stramineous, 2.3–3 mm long; outer tepals slightly longer than inner ones, acuminate to acute, with central band prominent and margins broad, ±membranous; inner tepals acute to subobtuse with margins distally very broad. Stamens 3–4 (–6); anthers c. 1.0–1.3 mm long; filaments c. 0.5 mm long; style c. 0.1 mm long; stigmas to c. 0.5 mm long. Capsule triseptate, oblong-ovoid, 2.5–3 mm long, often exceeding perianth, obtuse, shining castaneous-brown, often very dark at apex.