Plant 30-90 cm tall, compactly cespitose, with thick creeping rhizome.
Lower sheath short, brown; upper longer, broadly white scarious along margin, split into thin fibers, bearing filiform-grooved blade. Inflorescence consisting of 1-3 dense heads; upper sessile, lateral stalked. Leafy bracts 1-2; lower very long, erect. Spikelets small, ovate, 8-12-flowered. Glumes obovate, with cusp at tip, reddish-brown, short-ciliate along margin. Perianth without bristles. Nut obovate, trigonous blackish-brown.