Perennial, 30-110 cm, with short horizontal or slightly ascending rhizome. Stem 1-2.5 mm diam., sharply trigonous, sides concave, smooth or scabrous above, grooved. Leaves 1/2-3/4 of stem length; sheaths 20-80 mm, oldest dark grey, fibrous, younger yellowish to light brown, margin of scarious side oblique or protruding; ligule white, scarious, to 1.5 mm, arch of attachment high, twice or more its width; blades 2.5-6 mm wide, flat, or slightly recurved, rather rigid, smooth but apex scabrous along margins and mid-vein below, adaxial side more or less papillose. Inflorescence 15-50 mm, of 4-8 spikes, most overlapping, androgynous, sessile or lowest pedunculate and re-branched. Bracts up to 5, narrow, green, equal to or longer than their spike, lowest frequently equalling or even overtopping the inflorescence. Spikes 8-15 mm, globular or somewhat elongate; glumes 3-3.7 x 1.5-1.6 mm, triangular to ovate, acute or acuminate, arista to 0.6 mm; utricles 3.7-4.3 x 1.4-2.1 mm, plano-convex, ovoid, yellow-green, later grey-brown, obscurely or at least abaxial side clearly nerved, narrowly winged to the base, base somewhat suberous, beak 1-1.5 mm, deeply and sharply bidentate, wings scabrous, green. Nut 2 x 1.5 mm, incl. c. 0.2 mm style base and c. 0.2 mm stipe, bi-convex, almost spherical, yellow or yellow-brown, glossy, obscurely reticulate.