Perennials, 3–20 (–30) cm tall, loosely to densely caespitose, with short-noded rhizome and long thin subterranean stolons. Leaves basal, c. 2–8 cm long, or sub-basal with blade to c. 3–4 cm long, with uppermost leaf in lower 1/3–1/5 of stem, canaliculate at base, otherwise ±terete, c. 0.3–1.0 mm in diam., bitubular, not septate; apex subacute; sheath dilated with broad membranous to brownish or purplish margins; auricles to 1 mm long, obtuse, ±brownish. Lower bract blackish brown, brown or pale stramineous, oblong-ovate, obtuse to ±acute; apex scarious, usually shorter than perianth, c. 3.5–4.5 mm long. Inflorescence a single terminal cup-shaped (1–) 3–4 (–5)-flowered head; flowers arranged at the same level, or sometimes lower floret slightly remote. Tepals subequal; outer tepals often slightly longer, (3.5–) 4.0–5.0 (–5.5) mm long, acute to subacute; inner tepals subobtuse, blackish brown to brown, pale brown or stramineous. Stamens 6, ±equalling tepals; anthers 0.5–0.8 (–1.0) mm long; filaments c. 2.0–3.0 mm long; style 0.3–0.5 mm long; stigmas c. 0.5–1.0 mm long, ±patent. Capsule ±ellipsoid, subtrigonous above, subobtuse, usually (4.0–) 4.5–6.0 mm long, with c. 0.1–0.3 (–1.4) mm mucro, dark brown to stramineous, exceeding perianth. Seeds narrowly ellipsoid, to 1.0 × 0.3 mm, or to 2.8 mm long including two distinct appendages.