Tufted perennial, 12-30 cm. Stem sharply to obtusely trigonous, smooth or scabrous along edges, papillose. Leaves equal to or slightly shorter than stem; sheaths 15-30 mm, grey-brown, finally fibrous, margin of scarious side straight; ligule c. 0.1 mm; blades 0.4-1.5 mm wide, flat or revolute, long acuminate, margins and mid-vein scabrous towards apex. Inflorescence of 1 male and 2-3 pedunculate female or androgynous spikes below; solitary basal, female or androgynous spikes mostly present. Bracts up to equalling inflorescence, practically sheath-less. Male spikes 10-15 x 2-4 mm, narrowly ovoid to club-shaped, subsessile to pedunculate; male glumes c. 6 x 1.5 mm, narrowly obovate, light brown, apex obtuse, scarious. Female spikes globular, 6-10 mm diam., with 4-8(-10) utricles; female glumes 4.5-5.8 x 2.1-2.6 mm, ovate, obtuse, light brown, margins scarious; utricles 4.5-5.5 x 1.5-2 mm, obovoid, triangular, abruptly contracting to beak, puberulent, conspicuously nerved, green, beak c. 0.5 mm, with conspicuous nerves, green, bifid or oblique, ostiole margins scarious. Stigmas 3. Nut c. 4.5 x 1.5 mm, including c. 0.4 mm style base and c. 0.8 mm stipe, ellipsoid, trigonous, greenish yellow, finely puncticulate.