Plants caespitose, often looking untidy. Rhizomes variable, always present. Culms branching or rarely simple, smooth or striate. Leaf sheaths closely convolute, apical portion usually membranous and discoloured, soon decaying. Maleinflorescence with many florets arranged in panicles, not aggregated into spikelets, partially obscured by large spathes in young florets; each floret subtended by a linear or setaceous caducous bract; bracts chartaceous, pale; perianth segments 6, linear or setaceous, chartaceous, outer longer than inner; anthers apiculate, exserted; ovary rudimentary. Femaleinflorescence of 1-few spikelets, each subtended by a conspicuous, persistent, oblong spathe. Femalespikelets: bracts cartilaginous to chartaceous, many, only 1 fertile; perianth segments 6 or 0, when present, small, membranous, equal; ovary sessile or stipitate, 1-locular; styles 2, free to base, plumose, long or short. Fruit a large woody nutlet with a distinct elaiosome.
Species +/- 11, mainly Western Cape, extending to Northern Cape (Namaqualand).