Tall slender herb, mostly 600–700 mm high, growing singly, occasionally in tufts forming clumps. Rhizome oblong-globose, 40–90 x 30–50 mm or 1.25–2 times longer than wide, with many contractile roots, crowned by leaves and a mass of fibrous bristles from remains of old leaves, sometimes proliferating by means of short stolons, light yellow to orange inside. False stem cylindrical, slender, (65–)400–700 x (6–)8–13 mm. Leaves few to many, 4–12, clasping at base to form false stem, usually recurving apically, rigid, whip- or strap-like, linear, 320–800 x (4–)7–20 mm, tapering gradually from base to apex; veins flush with surface, two to five near each margin thickened and raised on upper surface; hairs sparse to dense, mainly along margins and midrib (ciliate) or forming a furry covering, bifurcate or stellate (3–8 arms, tufted), one arm more strongly developed, ascending or appressed, shorter arms needle-shaped, white. Inflorescence 2–5 per plant, appearing with leaves and produced sequentially, racemose or spicate, covered in white hairs; scapes as tall as or shorter than leaves, 150–300 mm x 2–3 mm, flattened in cross section (ancipitous). Flowers 3–9 (2 in the first produced inflorescences of the new season’s growth); pedicels subsessile or short, 8–16 x 1–1.5 mm when flowers open. Bract subulate, 7–20 x 1–2 mm. Tepals 3+3, yellow adaxially; outer tepals broadly elliptic, 10–20 x 3–4 mm, green and hairy abaxially; inner tepals ovate-elliptic, 8–16 x 4–6 mm, yellow, green and sparsely hairy along midrib abaxially. Stamens 3+3, with filaments subulate, 1.5–2 mm long; anthers 4–7.5 mm long, sagittate, apex entire. Ovary 4–5 mm long, style 1–1.5 mm long; stigma pyramidal with 3 concave faces, 2.5–3.5 mm long. Capsule turbinate or ellipsoidal, 5–8 x 3–5 mm, opening by a circular slit. Seeds globose to ovoid, 1.3–2 x 1.2–1.8 mm, black, glossy; testa papillate. Flowering time: September–March.