T: New Zealand, banks of the River Waipoua, 1849, J.W.Colenso 1093; lecto: K, fide E.Edgar, in L.B.Moore & E.Edgar, Fl. New Zealand 2: 66 (1970); iso: P, WELT.
Perennials, 2–10 (–15) cm tall, caespitose to loosely caespitose; rhizome long-noded, creeping, distally ascending and branched; stem to c. 0.4 mm in diam., often exceeded by leaves. Leaves numerous, both basal and inserted along stem; blade unitubular, subterete (±compressed), perfectly septate, to c. 5–8 cm long, 0.3–0.6 (–0.9) mm wide; sheaths loose, with broad membranous margins, distally veined; auricles obtuse, ±stramineous, 0.3–0.8 mm long. Lower bract leaf-like, filiform, ±equalling inflorescence or longer, 0.3–1.3 cm long. Inflorescence a single terminal 2–5-flowered head 5–6 mm wide, or the sessile head with 1–3 shortly pedunculate 1–3-flowered loose clusters. Capitulum bracts broadly ovate, acute to obtuse, stramineous to pale castaneous, c. 1.5–2.5 mm long. Tepals subequal; inner tepals often slightly longer, (1.5–) 1.9–2.5 mm long, ±obtuse, castaneous, with margins very broad and usually scarious to membranous; outer tepals acute, occasionally slightly cucullate and carinate, with central band greenish or castaneous, and bordered deep castaneous, with margins usually broad. Stamens 6, ±equalling or ±longer than tepals; anthers 0.5–1.0 mm long, slightly shorter than c. 0.8–1.1 mm long filaments; style 0.1–0.4 mm long (including mucro top); stigmas 1–2 mm long. Capsule broadly ovoid to subglobose when fully ripe, or ±oblong-ovoid, mucronulate, unilocular, 2.5–3.2 mm long incl. 0.1–0.3 mm mucro, blackish castaneous-brown, shiny, conspicuously exceeding perianth. Seeds obliquely ovoid, apiculate, 0.4–0.6 × 0.3 mm, reticulate; appendages absent.