Perennial, sometimes tufted, 20-45 cm. Rhizome short. Stem sharply trigonous, greyish green, papillose and scabrous especially along edges. Leaves shorter than stem; sheaths to 90 mm, soft, grey, margin of scarious side concave; ligule c. 0.5 mm, white, scarious, arch higher than wide; blades 1.5-2.5 mm wide, carinate, flat to folded, grey-green, margin revolute, both sides papillose, margins and keel scabrous especially towards apex. Inflorescence 25-50 mm, of 3-7 gynecandrous spikes, overlapping or lower remote. Bracts glume-like or lowest sometimes green, narrow, much longer than its spike. Spikes 5-8.5 x 3-4 mm, sessile; female glumes 1.5-2 x 1.3-1.5 mm, cymbiform, acute, midnerve green or yellow, sides scarious; utricles 2-2.3 x 1-1.3 mm, ellipsoid to ovoid, plano-convex, rather clearly nerved, green to yellow, papillose, occasionally with a 0.1 mm stipe; beak obscure, conical, with scabrous, almost straight lateral nerves. Nut 1.3-1.6 x c. 0.9 mm, ovoid, lenticular, apiculate, light brown to brown, finely striate papillose.