Very stout. Leaves subcoriaceous, lorate, drooping (the tip pointing downwards), with 3 more or less prominent nerves, scabrous on margins and keel only at the very top, dark green above, paler beneath, (30-)50-70 by 6-12 cm, the apex rather gradually narrowed into an up to 15 cm long aculeate tail, the base contracted into a conduplicate, ribbed petiole up to 60 cm long and 6-10 mm wide; Inflorescence capitate, consisting of 8-16 sessile spikelets, 3-6 cm across. Flowers about as long as the glumes;
Asia-Tropical: Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia present), G. Padang present, G. Tahan present, Karak For. Res present, Kemaman present, Pahang present, Sungai Nipa present, Trengganu present
Malesia: Malay Peninsula (Trengganu: G. Padang; Pahang: G. Tahan, Karak For. Res.; Kemaman: Sungai Nipa).
Closely related to M. cuspidata, with the same vegetative habit, but much stouter. The very large leaves are scabrous at the very top only, the scapes thick and short-hairy (but finally glabrescent). The capitate inflorescence with several to many spikelets furnishes an easy character for discrimination, but as M. cuspidata may sometimes have a few secondary spikelets in the axils of the basal glumes, the distinction between the two species on this ground is not sharp. According to a field-note of CORNER the tufts are not stilted, unlike those of M. cuspidata.