Caespitose perennial, 7-45 cm. Rhizome short, c. 1 mm diam., horizontal or ascending. Stem 0.8-1.3 mm in diam, mostly sharply trigonous and scabrous above, obtusely trigonous below. Leaves as long as or slightly shorter than stem; sheaths 20-45 mm, black- or grey-brown, strongly nerved, finally fibrous, margin of scarious side nearly straight; ligule c. 0.2 mm, scarious with brown spots, arch as high as wide or shallower; blades 1.5-2 mm wide, folded or involute, keel and margins scabrous especially towards apex, grey-green, lower surface finely papillose. Inflorescence 10-40 mm, of 3-10 androgynous spikes, mostly overlapping. Upper bracts inconspicuous, lower green, filiform, lowest equalling or overtopping inflorescence; spikes c. 5 mm, globose, green; female glumes 2.5-2.8 x 1.2-1.4 mm, triangular, scarious, green mid-nerve extending into arista to 1 mm; utricles 3.5-4.3 x 1.1-1.3 mm, plano-convex, both sides densely nerved, green, margins smooth, beak 1.1-1.6 mm, conical, compressed, margins smooth or slightly scabrous. Nut 1.5-1.6 x 0.8-0.9 mm, including c. 0.1 mm style base and up to 0.1 mm stipe, ellipsoid to obovoid, greyish brown or yellowish, glossy, smooth or obscurely reticulate.