Engelm., Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis 2: 446 (1866)
Perennials, 5–30 cm tall, densely caespitose, with very short-noded, 2–4 mm thick rhizome. Stem terete, 0.5–1 mm thick, smooth, greyish green, with c. 20 inconspicuous ridges; subepidermal sclerenchyma strands absent; pith in mature stems of astericiform cells, irregular or ±continuous. Cataphylls 3–4, ±tight, 1–5 cm long, stramineous or light reddish brown; lower cataphylls without blades or blade awn-like; uppermost cataphyll with a blade 3–6 cm long, grooved at base, terete above; auricles scarious, 0.2–0.3 mm long, obtuse to acute. Lower bract erect, 1.5–4 cm long, usually much exceeding inflorescence. Inflorescence pseudolateral, of 1–3 (–7) solitary flowers (rarely distal flowers in pairs) on erect peduncles 1–7 (–15) mm long. Bracteoles broadly ovate, ±obtuse to subacute, 2–3 mm long; outer bracteole sometimes with a mucro, castaneous at base, scarious above and along margins. Tepals unequal; outer tepals longer, 5.5–9 mm long, lanceolate, apiculate to cuspidate; central band greenish to stramineous, 3–5-veined, bordered castaneous; margins ±membranous. Stamens 6; anthers 1.1–1.6 mm long; filaments 0.6–1.0 mm long; style c. 0.3–0.6 mm long; stigmas 1.0–1.5 mm long. Capsule trilocular, narrowly oblong-trigonous, c. 6–9 × 1.5–2.0 mm, usually exceeding perianth, subabruptly narrowing into acuminate mucro 0.3–0.8 mm long, light brown. Seeds c. 0.5–0.7 × 0.2–0.3 mm, finely striate, amber, with two appendages c. 0.4 mm long. Fig. 133.