Leaves coriaceous, equitant, ensiform, gradually narrowed upwards, smooth or slightly asperous, 7-20 mm wide. Stamens 3; Panicle erect, oblong, narrow, loose, consisting of 4-5 distant fascicles of branches, 25-30 cm long.
Cladium samoense CLARKE was based on specimens from Polynesia (Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti) and N. Borneo (Mt Kinabalu), of which only the Bornean specimens (viz HAVILAND 1405 & 1406) were cited in detail by STAPF in his paper on the flora of Mt Kinabalu (1894). Later on () STAPF excluded HAVILAND 1405 from Cladium samoense and referred it to Vincentia malesiaca STAPF. Unfortunately the remaining HAVILAND specimen (1406) and the Polynesian ones are not conspecific; the former belongs to the species described as Cladium aspericaule by KÜKENTHAL in 1940. Although it is not cited in detail in the original description it seems appropriate to designate the Samoa specimen in the Kew Herbarium as the lectotype of Cladium samoense, and to accept KÜKENTHAL'S name as the earliest one for the species described above.