Prionium serratum or palmiet is a riparian shrub rooted in river beds in massive stands with water flowing through the dense mass. The plant is important in binding river banks. Much damage to stands of these plants has occurred on many South African rivers, leading to destabilisation during flood periods and erosion.
The plant reaches heights taller than 2 m with large panicles of small brown florets above the foliage on sturdy stems in spring and summer. The plant is found in coastal parts of rivers along the south and east coasts of South Africa (Bean and Johns, 2005; Bond and Goldblatt, 1984).