Its hairy lanceolate leaves have a spine on their end, and its flower is a whisk of light brown colour. The plant also produces a caryopsis fruit. After blooming and releasing its seeds, the plant dies. The cane is straight, of up to 6 metres in height, and was used by the Aboriginals for the pole of their spears. They are still used by the Mapuche people for a musical instrument known as trutruca.
A particularity of this Chusquea is that its wood is solid, differentiating from most of the bamboosoids, with hollow interiors.