Loosely tufted perennial. Rhizome horizontal or ascending, short, with short internodes, covered by grey-brown scales soon disintegrating into fibres. Leaves equalling or exceeding stem length, flexuous, greyish green; sheaths grey or grey-brown, with strong dark brown veins, disintegrating into fibres, margin of scarious side straight or slightly concave; ligule tubular; blades 1.5-2.5 mm wide, margins scabrous. Inflorescence of 4-10 spikes, sessile, remote or 2-5 distal spikes overlapping. Spikes 3-9 x 2-4 mm, globose or ellipsoid; female glumes cymbiform, acute or subacute, green or later brownish, margins widely scarious; utricles ellipsoid or ovoid, plano-convex, from yellowish green to almost grey, glossy, beak conical, wings scabrous, oblique or bidentate, ostiole margins scarious. Nut from ellipsoid to ovoid or obovoid, bi-convex, glossy, finely reticulate and papillose.