Perennial, 30-45 cm, with long subterranean stolons. Rhizome long, brown to black brown, covered with prominently nerved scales 10-15 mm long. Stem obtusely trigonous to terete, usually papillose and sligthly scabrous above. Leaves c. 1/2 of stem length; sheaths 25-50 mm, strongly nerved, pale brown, sometimes with reddish tint, margin of scarious side concave; ligule up to 0.8 mm, brown; blades 2.5-5 mm wide, flat or slightly revolute, densely papillose below, margins and midvein scabrous towards long-acuminate apex. Inflorescence by 1-3 male spikes above and 1-3 female spikes below. Lowest bract equalling inflorescence, with sheath to 0.5 mm. Male spikes 15-40 mm, light to dark brown; male glumes c. 6 mm, obovate, obtuse. Female spikes 10-30 x 3-6 mm, lax, lower usually pedunclate; female glumes c. 3.7 x 1.2 mm, 3-nerved, brown, from acute to aristate, arista up to 0.5 mm; utricles 2-4 x 1-1.6 mm, ovoid, from smooth to hispid, papillose, brown, beak when present to 0.3 mm, cylindrical, truncate, ostiole with brown margin. Stigmas 3 (or sometimes ? 2). Nut c. 1.5-2.5 x 1-1.5 mm, including c. 0.3 mm style base, trigonous, greyish brown to brown, finely reticulate.