Mostly 50–100 cm tall. Stem usually to 5–8 mm in diam., deep green, glossy, not hard; pith continuous, not dense; ridges usually 40–70, almost invisible when fresh (stem usually slightly translucent between the ridges). Cataphylls few, usually, 3, usually to 15 cm long, tight, with lowermost sometimes lax and upper not overlapping in distal 1/3–1/10, abaxially stramineous-brown to dark brown distally, dark castaneous-brown to blackish brown and dull to slightly glossy at base, adaxially usually silvery to golden glossy. Lower bract constricted below the inflorescence, usually 5–25 cm long, much exceeding inflorescence; sheath not dilated. Inflorescence variable, mostly 1–5 cm long but occasionally much larger, mostly dense to moderately lax with groups of subcontracted unilateral cymes. Tepals equal, mostly 2–3 mm long, lanceolate, acute to acuminate, thin and soft, loosely appressed to capsule to erect; central band greenish to stramineous-brown, not prominent; margins membranous, broad. Anthers 0.6–0.8 mm long, about equalling the filaments. Capsule 1.8–3 mm long, trigono-ovoid, obtuse or often slightly retuse. 2n = 42, fide S.Snogerup, Bot. Not. 116: 145 (1963).