Caespitose perennial, 15-40 cm. Stem 0.3-0.5 mm diam., triangular or compressed, smooth, slightly compressed above. Leaves 1/2-2/3 of stem length; sheaths to 30 mm, basal parts strongly nerved, upper parts widely scarious, mouth concave to lingulate; ligule 0; blades 0.7-1 mm wide, canaliculate, margins involute, scabrous, apex flat, mucronate. Inflorescence of 1-2(-3) spikes, peduncles c. 15 mm, with tubular prophyll; bracts e.g. 8.2 mm, with barbed arista of 5 mm. Spike 7-10 mm, flat or angular, with 10-15 glumes, which distichously or irregularly spirally arranged; glumes 3.5-6.2 mm, cymbiform, acuminate, keeled, sides nerve-less, yellowish brown, lowest 2-3 sterile, with barbed arista to 1.9 mm; rachis c. 1 mm wide, deeply notched, internodes c. 0.8 mm, glumes caducous (as in Cyperus) leaving basal corners on rachis, which thus winged. Stamens 3, anthers c. 1.3 mm; style c. 1.5 mm, flat or shallowly trigonous, edges ciliate, stylopodium caducous, 0.8-1.2 x 0.6-0.7 mm, trigonous, triangular, edges sharp; stigmas 3. Nut 2.2-2.4 x 1.4-1.8 mm (excl. style base), pyriform, subglobose, with a c. 0.6 mm stipe, tuberculate, white or brownish.