Plants short-stemmed perennials with fine roots. Leaves ensiform-linear, 1 5-20 cm long, distichous, flabellately spreading, strictly basal, longer than the scape sheaths; blades flat to slightly twisted, 3-5 mm wide, flattened, yellow-green, inconspicuously multi-nerved, papillose, thick-nerved toward margin, reddish brown; apices abruptly narrowed, incurved- acute, thickened; margins with edges pale villous-ciliate; sheaths ciliate-carinate, the sides strongly multicostate, smooth, yellowish-fuscous, castaneous toward the base, rugulose, with margins gradually narrowing into the blades, gradually expanding below, abruptly dilated at base, there the edges narrowly scarious, antrorsely long-ciliate with white hairs. Scape sheaths ancipital toward base, pilose-ciliate, smooth, multicostate, reddish brown, shining, acutely carinate from middle to apex, the carinae reddish, ciliate, the blades short, obtuse. Scapes slender, straight, 4.5-6 dm high, slightly twisted, narrowly 2-3-costate," elliptic in cross section, ancipital toward the apex, the costae longciliate with white hairs. Spikes broadly ovoid, 1-1.5 cm long, obtuse, the bracts numerous, loose, nearly uniform, spirally imbricate, subscarious, convex, ecarinate, broadly ovate, 5- 7 mm long, rounded, brownish yellow, marginally squarrose, lacerate; dorsal area indistinct; sterile bracts many. Lateral sepals free, strongly curvate, slightly exserted, strongly inequilateral, broadly oblanceolate, thin, 6-7 mm long-; keel wide, ciliate-fimbriolate. Petal blades suborbicular to reniform, 7-8 mm long, strongly erose, yellow. Staminodia bibrachiate, the branches flattened, long-penicillate. Anthers lanceolate-oblong, sagittate, ca. 2 mm long. Capsule turgidly obovoid, ca. 3 mm long, the placentation basal; seeds numerous, ellipsoid, 0.5 mm long, palely or deeply lustrous brown, prominently longitudinally 12-1 4-costate.
This novelty most resembles X. pterygoblephara Steudel, particularly by having long, pale ciliation on scape and leaf edges; distichous, flabellately spreading, flattened leaves; and concolorous bracts. Xyris diaphanobracteata differs conspicuously in its broader spikes and uniform bracts (sterile ones more numerous) with thin, translucent texture and squarrose edges. The lateral sepals are broader, more strongly curvate, blunter, exserted, very inequilateral (rather than equilateral), and more prominently ciliate.