Perennials. Rhizomes woody, covered with purple to purplish brown scales. Culms tufted, 60-120 cm tall, 2-3 mm wide, triquetrous, smooth, glabrous. Leaves cauline; sheath 2-7 cm, papery, glabrous; sheath at culm base brown to purplish brown, not winged, with 3 ovoid-lanceolate teeth of various sizes at opening; sheath at middle part of culm green, wing 1-3 mm wide; contraligule brown to reddish brown, shortly deltate, 1-3 mm, glabrous or ciliate; leaf blade linear, 15-60 cm × 6-9 mm, papery, slightly scabrous, glabrous. Involucral bracts leaflike, basalmost to 25 cm, sheathing; bractlets setaceous, base auriculate and hispid. Inflorescences paniculate, 10-20 cm, with 1-3 slightly distant lateral branches; branches 6-10 × 2-6 cm, slightly condensed. Spikelets 2 or 3 in a cluster, brown to purple, ca. 4 mm, unisexual. Male spikelets oblong-ovoid to narrowly ovoid-oblong; glumes 3-4 mm, membranous, margin sometimes ciliate; basal glumes keeled, apex aristate to apiculate. Female spikelets usually at base of branch, ovoid; glumes ovate-orbicular, keeled, apex acuminate. Male flowers: stamens 3. Female flowers: ovary pubescent; stigmas 3. Disk yellow, 1.6-2 mm in diam., deeply 3-lobed; lobes ovate, margin reflexed, apex obtuse to rounded. Nutlet white, ± spherical, ca. 2.5 mm in diam., smooth, glabrous.