Plants weakly caespitose, often spreading through vegetation. Culms branching. Leafsheaths tightly convoluted. Maleinflorescence of several spicate spikelets; spathes densely imbricate, chartaceous. Malespikelets: bracts similar to spathes, mostly fertile; perianth segments glabrous, outer ones cartilaginous, laterals conduplicate, inner membranous. Femaleinflorescence similar to male, but florets slightly larger. Femalespikelets: ovary 1-locular; styles 2, shortly connate at base. Fruit a nutlet.
Species 1: Hydrophilus rattrayi (Pillans) H.P.Linder, Western to Eastern Cape.
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