Caespitose perennial, 25-100 cm. Rhizome short, knotty, with short internodes, covered with grey-brown, fibrous scale remains. Stem trigonous, leafy, grooved, scabrous above. Leaves flexuous, shorter than stem; sheaths 50-60 mm, outermost greyish brown, soon fibrous, margin of scarious side straight; ligule up to 0.5 mm, scarious; blades 3-4 mm wide, flat or margins slightly revolute, upper surface papillose towards margins, margin and midnerve below scabrous towards apex. Inflorescence of 6-12 androgynous spikes, or branches up to 15 mm, with 4-5 spikes, all except few lowest spikes overlapping. Bracts inconspicuous, foliose, mostly shorter than their spikes, amplexicaul. Spikes c. 5 x 5 mm, globose or slightly elongate; female glumes 2.2-3.7 x 1.3-1.5 mm, triangular to ovate, scarious with green or yellowish mid-nerve extending into barbed arista to 1.3 mm; utricles 2.7-3.3 x 1-1.4 mm, plano-convex, fusiform or ellipsoid, tightly clasping nut, thin, green, nerveless, but the two lateral nerves scabrous at least in upper part, beak 0.9-1.4 mm, widely conical, with pronounced scabrous margin, bidentate. Nut 1.5-2 x c. 1.1 mm, ovoid to obovoid, lenticular, brown, finely reticulate.