Loosely tufted perennial, 4-12 cm. Rhizome sturdy, covered with grey-brown, finally fibrous scales; producing short, ascending stolons. Stem erect or base ascending, trigonous, scabrous above, papillose, grey-green. Leaves from 1/2 to as long as stem; sheaths 10-20 mm, strongly nerved, grey-brown to brown, sometimes with reddish tint, margin of scarious side slightly concave; ligule to 0.5 mm, scarious, brownish, arch as high as wide; blades 1.5-2.5 mm wide, carinate, margins slightly revolute, both sides densely papillose, grey-green, apical part scabrous. Inflorescence 5-15 mm, by 2-3 spikes, close together. Lowest bracts usually remote, to 30 mm, sterile; spikes 5-10 x 3-6 mm, ellipsoid, terminal usually gynecandrous, other mostly female; female glumes 1.6-1.7 x 0.8-1.1 mm, cymbiform, triangular, acute or obtuse, reddish black-brown, papillose; utricles 1.8-2.5 x 0.9-1.1 mm, briefly clavate, slightly inflated, finally golden brown, obscurely nerved, papillose, beak up to 0.1 mm, ostiole round, with black, papillose margins. Stigmas 3. Nut 1.4-1.9 x 0.7-0.9 mm, obconical, triangular, light brown, areole elongated along edges.