Caespitose perennial, 15-25 cm. Rhizome short, horizontal or ascending. Stem c. 0.5 mm diam., sharply trigonous, scabrous along edges. Leaves c. 1/2 of stem length, those of sterile shoots longer; sheaths 10-20 mm, dark grey-brown, disintegrating into fibres, margin of scarious side concave; ligule c. 0.2 mm, scarious; blades 1.5-2.5 mm wide, keeled, margins recurved, margins of adaxial side papillose, margins, keel and adaxial surface scabrous towards apex. Inflorescence of 1 male spike and 2-3, mostly overlapping female spikes below. Bracts to overtopping inflorescence, sheath of lowest up to 3 mm. Male spike 4-14 x c. 1.5 mm, fusiform or club-shaped; male glumes 4.5-6.2 x 0.9-1.2 mm, acute or with arista up to 3.1 mm, scarious. Female spikes 4-12 x 2-3 mm, fusiform, ellipsoid or club-shaped, lax, lowest with short peduncle, erect; female glumes 3-3.4 x 1-1.3 mm, truncate, scarious, with scabrous arista up to 2 mm; utricles c. 2.8 x 1 mm, obovoid, conspicuously nerved, sparingly strigose, beak c. 0.4 mm, widely conical, truncate, strigose green, mouth margin scarious. Stigmas 3. Nut with wide annulus (no ripe material studied).