Perennial. Rhizome 3-6 mm thick, woody, yellow; scales light brown. Culms 0.3-1.5 m tall, glabrous, 5-10 mm distant. Leaves 1-3.5 mm broad, villous to glabrescent; sheath with mouth produced into a triangular, villous or glabrescent tongue 1-2 mm long. Inflorescence branched or unbranched, 40-120-(170) mm long, stiffly erect. Glomerules (1)-2-12 per branch, of 1-6 sessile spikelets. Bracts shortly awned, shorter than or equalling the glomerules. Spikelets 4-5 mm long. Glumes 2-4.5 mm long, glabrous, shortly awned, blackish-red or pale red with darker streaks. Achene broadly ovoid or subglobose, 1.25-2 x 1-1.6 mm, glabrous, smooth or tuberculate, grey or light brown.