Perennials, up to 1.5 m. Rhizome sturdy, creeping, producing tubers. Stem trigonous, smooth or scabrous along edges. Leaves basal, smaller or equalling stem; sheaths up to 17 cm, soft; ligule 0; blades up to 7 mm wide, keeled, scabrous. Inflorescence a multiple spike, sometimes anthelodium, or spikes congested to head; bracts much exceeding inflorescence; spikes up to 30 x 8 mm. Flowers bisexual, perianth bristles 4-7, inequal, stamens 3, stigmas 2-3. Nut trigonous or biconvex.
Resembling Schoenoplectus, but leaf blades long; inflorescence either with few elongated branches (as in sect. Schoenoplectus) or spikes large and in capitula (Schoenoplectus sect. Actaeogeton); perianth bristles present.