T: Ecuador, Carchi, Páramo El Angel, 3400 m, 27 Jan 1967, B.Sparre 14234; holo: S.
Perennials, 30–80 cm tall, loosely caespitose; rhizome creeping, 2–5 mm in diam., with thin scarious non-overlapping scales, with distinct internodes; stems in rows, 1.2–3 mm in diam. Cataphylls 2–3 per stem; lower one 1–3 cm; upper ones 5–10 cm long, ±tight, reddish, later light brown; basal leaves 1–2. Cauline leaves 1–2, (10–) 20–50 cm long, unitubular, perfectly septate, terete, 1.0–2.5 mm in diam.; sheaths 4–8 cm long, first reddish, later light brown with margins distinct, scarious; auricles 1.5–2.5 mm long, scarious, obtuse. Lower bract sheath-like, open, 2–7 cm long, with rudimentary blade to 1.5 cm, exceeding inflorescence. Inflorescence decompound, with main branches abbreviated, of 1–2 large echinate lobulate many-flowered dark castaneous heads 1–3 cm in diam. Tepals subequal, linear-lanceolate, subulate, 2.7–4.5 mm long, pale with scarious margins at base, distally dark brown to black. Stamens 3 (–6); anthers c. (0.3–) 0.6–0.7 mm long; filaments 0.6–0.8 mm long; style 0.4–0.5 mm long; stigmas c. 1.0–1.5 mm long. Capsule unilocular, ellipsoid-trigonous (to trilobed), 2.5–3.2 mm long including a distinct rostrum, shorter than perianth, dark brown distally. Seeds ellipsoid, apiculate, 0.4–0.5 × c. 0.2 mm, yellowish brown, reticulate; appendages absent. Fig. 97.