Perennial with evergreen aerial parts. This species is distinguished from S. greigiifolia by the even spacing of leaves along the culm, by its very compact, spiciform panicles, by its adaxially glabrous female glumes, by its beakless achene with a black apex. Both species have brown, zoniform hypogynia.
Dense panicles, the lateral ones pendulous
Stout perennial up to 2 m. high
Perennial. Rhizome elongate or contracted, 4-5(-7) mm thick; scales reddish-brown. Culms 0.8-2 m tall, glabrous or glabrescent. Leaves 7-15(-20) mm broad, glabrescent or sparsely villous; sheaths with mouths produced into a convex tongue with pale, membranous margin. Inflorescence with terminal ± spiciform panicle 30-90(-110) mm long, smaller ± spiciform lateral panicles (0)-1-3 at (0)-1-3 nodes, exserted up to 300 mm from sheaths. Bracts foliaceous. Mate spikelets sessile or subsessile, 10-12 mm long; glumes red-brown or blackish-red, hispidulous or villous on midrib. Female glumes red- brown or blackish-red with green, hispidulous or villous keels, shortly awned. Achene ovoid, 4-5.25 mm x 2.5-3.5 mm, glabrous or proximally sparsely hairy, smooth, grey or brown proximally, blackish distally; hypogynium obscurely trilobed or zoniform, pale brown.
Perennial herb, up to 2 m high. Panicles compact, spiciform, 1 or 2(-4). Leaves evenly spaced along length of column. Female glumes 7-11 mm long, glabrous adaxially. Achene ovoid, beakless, grey with blackish apex. Glumes reddish brown or blackish red.