Caespitose perennial, 40-80 cm. Stem nearly terete, smooth. Leaves c. 1/3 of stem length, erect; sheaths 30-40 cm, greyish brown, not glossy, disintegrating into fibres; ligule c. 0.2 mm, scarious; blades 1-1.5(-2.5) mm wide, greyish green, carinate, long-attenuate, mid-nerve, margins and nerves below scabrous towards apex. Inflorescence of 1-2 male and 2-3 female spikes, staminate spikes occasionally androgynous. Bracts up to equalling inflorescence, with sheath 15-20 mm. Male spikes 16-24 x 2-3 mm, fusiform to clavate, yellowish-brown; male glumes c. 4.7 x 1.5 mm, ovate or obovate, acute, yellow-brown, margins widely scarious. Female spikes erect, lowest pedunculate; female glumes c. 5.2 x 1.8 mm, shorter than utricles, acuminate, brown, midnerve scabrous, margins scarious; utricles 6.2-7.8 x 1.7-2.2 mm, ovoid, plano-convex, with 3 strong dorsal nerves, upper part scabrous, beak 1.7-2.2 mm, scabrous, oblique or bidentate, ostiole with scarious margins. Stigmas 3. Nut 4.2 x 1.3 mm, including persistent scabrous up to 0.7 mm style base and up to 0.4 mm stipe, from obovoid to fusiform, trigonous, yellow-brown, finely reticulate with papilla in each areole.