Perennials; stems 1.5–8 cm, setaceous, densely caespitose; rhizomes very short, stout, covered with dark brown scales. Leaves bitubular, filiform; leaf sheaths with conspicuous, often reddish-brown auricles; upper stem leaf present or absent; basal stem leaf with dark purplish-brown sheath. Bracts castaneous, with lowermost often with leaf-like point exceeding inflorescence. Inflorescence a single (1–) 2–4-flowered capitulum. Tepals 3.0–4.5 × 1 mm, oblong, obtuse, initially white, becoming suffused dark purplish. Stamens 6; anthers 1.5–2 mm long; filaments up to 3.5–4.5 mm long, exceeding tepals at maturity; style 0.7–1.2 mm long; stigmas c. 0.5 mm long, spreading. Capsule 2.5–3 × 1.5–2 mm, oblong-ellipsoid, abruptly contracted into 1.0–1.5 mm mucro. Seeds 0.6–0.7 mm long, with minute appendages less than 0.1 mm long.
A rare, probably overlooked, species recorded from Nepal, Sikkim, Tibet and Sichuan, China. 36: CHC, CHT. 40: EHM, NEP..
36. TIBET: SW of Lhozak [Lhozhag, Garbo] Valley junction, 4420 m, Dickoré 9816 (E); Tsangpo – Subansiri Pass, 5000 m, Dickoré 9952 (E). 40. EAST HIMALAYA: Sikkim, Chaunrikhiang, foot of East Rathong Glacier, 4550 m, [Anonymous: ESIK] 375 (E); SE side of Lasha Chhu, below Sebu La, 4700 m, D.G.Long & H.J.Noltie 383 (E). NEPAL: Gosainkund Lake, 4250 m, T. de Haas 2252 (BM); rocks N of Gosainkund Governmental House, 4500 m, T. de Haas 2222 (BM); Lau, 4600 m, Yon 243 (BM).
Shallow, damp soils on moraines, above 4250–5020 m
Close to J. benghalensis, especially in its bitubular leaves, the usually long, leaf-like lowest bract and the conspicuous leaf-sheath auricles, but differing in its very dwarf stature (inflorescence sometimes reduced to 1 or 2 flowers) and its short, branched rhizomes giving rise to dense clumps, rather than having stems borne singly and spreading by very slender rhizomes.