Annuals. Roots fibrous. Rhizomes absent. Culms tufted, erect, 10-25 cm tall, 3-angled, glabrous or villous. Leaves cauline; sheath barely winged, pubescent to villous; contraligule semicircular, margin ciliate; leaf blade linear, 2-4 mm wide but apically attenuate, papery, both surfaces hairy, margins scabrous, apex obtuse. Involucral bracts leaflike, to 14 cm, sheathing, opening of sheath with dense brown pubescence; bractlets small, sheathless. Inflorescences paniculate, with 3-5 branches; branches 0.7-1.5 cm, distant, with few spikelets; branch peduncles 0.4-4 cm, usually winged. Spikelets 1 or 2 in a cluster, narrowly ovoid, 2-4 mm, mostly unisexual; female spikelets with 3-5 glumes and 1 female flower. Female flowers: ovary obovoid, smooth, glabrous. Disk 1/4-1/3 height of nutlet, 3-lobed; lobes semicircular, margin reflexed, apex rounded. Nutlet white or grayish white, spherical to subspherical, ca. 1.5 mm in diam., smooth, shiny, apex subrounded and slightly tipped.