Tightly tufted perennial, 30-60 cm. Rhizome short. Stem trigonous, scabrous along edges. Leaves shorter than stem; sheaths brown to dark brown; blades 1-2 mm wide, canaliculata to flat, grey-green. Inflorescence a paniculodium; bracts glume-like; spikes 15-30 mm, obovoid to ellipsoid, androgynous; female glumes ovate, acute, brown to dark brown, margins widely scarious. Utricles 2 - 3 mm, ovate, stipitate, base rounded or nearly cordate, suberous, glossy, beak compressed, margins narrowly winged, scabrous. Nut obovate.