Tussock-forming perennial, c. 50 cm. Rhizome short, covered by greyish scales. Stem erect or base ascending, sharply trigonous, winged and sides concave above, smooth. Leaves to 1/2 of stem length, erect; sheaths c. 20 mm, grey-brown, strongly nerved, fibrous with age, margin of scarious side concave; ligule c. 0.7 mm, white, scarious, arch c. as high as wide; blades 2.5-3.5 mm wide, flat, keeled, yellow-green, margins revolute, both sides papillose, margins and keel scabrous towards apex. Inflorescence 15-30 x 8-12 mm, compact, of 3-4 spikes, terminal gynecandrous, others mostly female, all overlapping or lowest remote. Bracts inconspicuous, lowest possibly green. Terminal spike 12-14 x 4-6 mm, club-shaped, others 7-11 x 3-4 mm, ellipsoid, lowest with peduncle to 4 mm. Female glumes 2.4-2.5 x 1.1-1.2 mm, ovate, obtuse or acute, with occasional mucro to 0.3 mm, dark reddish brown, glossy. Utricles 2.6-3.1 x 1.5-1.7 mm, ellipsoid, flat or slightly inflated, yellowish-brown, not distinctly papillose, shiny, beak c. 0.2 mm, cylindrical, dark brown, truncate or obscurely bifid. Stigmas 3. Nut 1.7 x 0.8-0.9 mm, including c. 0.1 mm style base and 0.1 mm stipe, ellipsoid, trigonous, brown, finely reticulate with a papilla in each areole.