Perennials, stoloniferous. Rhizomes woody, covered with purple scales. Culms laxly tufted or scattered, 70-90 cm tall, 3-5 mm wide, 3-angled, scabrous, pubescent. Leaf sheath 1-8 cm, papery; sheath of leaves at culm base brown, not winged; sheaths on apical half of culm green, wing 1-3 mm wide; contraligule nearly semicircular, short, barbate; leaf blade linear, ca. 30 cm × 7-10 mm. Involucral bracts leaflike, basalmost to 13 cm; bractlets setaceous, auriculate at base, auricles barbate. Inflorescences paniculate, with 1 or 2 lateral branches; branches 3-8 × 1.5-3 cm. Spikelets 1 or 2 in a cluster, brown, unisexual, sessile, ca. 3 mm. Male spikelets narrowly ovoid to oblong-ovoid; glumes 1.5-3 mm, keeled, thickly membranous. Female spikelets usually at basal part of branch, narrowly ovoid; glumes oblong-ovate, broadly ovate, or ovate-lanceolate, keeled, with rust-colored short lines. Male flowers: stamens 3; anthers linear, ca. 1.3 mm. Female flowers: stigmas 3. Disk pale yellow, slightly narrower than nutlet, deeply 3-lobed; lobes lanceolate-triangular, margin reflexed. Nutlet white, spherical to ovoid, ca. 2 mm in diam., bluntly 3-sided, ± smooth to rugulose, apex tipped. Fl. and fr. Jun-Sep.