A much branched shrub up to 2 m high. Young stems canescent. Leaves 40-70 mm long, much dissected, the segments slender, covered with adpressed silvery hairs or with loose somewhat erect hairs, ultimately falling off; the apiculum slender, somewhat acute. Peduncle shorter than the spike, with scattered lanceolate bracts. Spike up to 60 mm long, up to 30 mm wide, somewhat lax. Bract subtending each partial inflorescence ovate, densely hairy, the lowest often with a slender leaf-like tip, the succeeding bracts acute, about three quarters the length of the floral bracts, the tip reflexing when the flowers open. Floral bracts 4-5 mm long, ovate-lanceolate, mucronate, all but the mucro densely covered with short adpressed hairs in the more southerly areas or standing erect and rather bristly in appearance in the north. Perianth of the mature bud, 10-13 mm long, claws white and powdery in appearance due to crowded short hairs, limbs with stiff upwardly directed hairs, the posticous segment with fewer hairs. Style hairy on the lower middle part, glabrous elsewhere; pollen presenter about 1 mm long, not much wider than the style.