T: New Zealand, South Island, S of Waimakariri R. mouth, 25 May 1960, E.Edgar 8; holo: NSW; iso: CHR.
Perennials, c. 50–120 cm tall; rhizome ±horizontal, stout; stems densely tufted, ±hard (difficult to compress), shining, yellowish green, (0.6–) 1.3–2.5 (–3.0) mm in diam.; pith dense, of astericiform cells, irregularly interrupted with small ±circular to ellipsoid lacunae; ridges 22–65, ±distinct when dry; subepidermal sclerenchyma strands present; epidermis cells ±uniform in size. Cataphylls usually 3–4, with inner ones to 18 cm long, c. 1 cm wide, lax, abaxially yellow-brown to ±brown distally, dull or slightly glossy, dark glossy (reddish) brown at base, adaxially silvery golden (pale) brown. Lower bract erect, (6–) 10–18 (–21) cm long, much exceeding inflorescence; sheath not inflated, ±narrow. Inflorescence 2–6 cm long, diffuse, with densely clustered flowers; flowers 3–20 per subglobose cluster and (1–) 3–12 (–20) clusters per inflorescence. Tepals subequal, stramineous to greenish stramineous-brown, sometimes tinged red-brown; outer tepals slightly longer, acute, (1.7–) 2.1–2.5 (–2.6) mm long, with margins narrow; inner tepals acute to subobtuse, with broad membranous margins. Stamens 3; anthers c. 0.4–0.6 mm long; filaments c. 0.5–0.7 mm long; style 0.1–0.3 mm long; stigmas c. 0.5–1.0 mm long. Capsule ±trilocular to imperfectly so, narrowly oblong-ovoid to ellipsoid, c. 2 mm long, obtuse, minutely mucronate, golden brown to pale castaneous-brown, equalling or slightly shorter than perianth. Seeds pale brown, obliquely ellipsoid, apiculate, 0.4–0.5 (–0.6) × c. 0.2–0.25 mm, c. 12–16-striate, reticulate; appendages absent.