Perennials, c. 20–50 cm tall, densely caespitose; rhizome short, vertical; stolons absent. Basal leaves up to 10–15 cm long, 2.5–5.0 mm wide, ciliate; cauline leaves 2–3; upper leaves 2.5–6.0 cm long, 2–3 mm wide; all leaves with obtuse swollen tip, margins papillose-serrulate. Lower bracts 1–2, usually 1.0–2.5 cm long, obtuse to subacute, usually ±overtopping inflorescence. Inflorescence congested in a dense many-flowered head c. 1–2 × 1.0–1.2 cm. Bracteoles 1.5–2.0 mm long, ±ovate, ciliate-fimbriate. Tepals subequal, glabrous, straw-brown to brown with darker middle stripe and pale border, lanceolate, acuminate, 2.8–3.5 mm long. Stamens 6; anthers 0.8–1.1 mm long; filaments 0.5–0.7 mm long; style 0.7–0.8 mm long; stigmas 2.0–2.4 mm long. Capsule pale brown, obovate, indistinctly apicate-submucronate; capsule segments usually 2.2–2.4 × 1.6–1.7 mm. Seeds oblong-ovoid, pale brown, 0.7–0.9 (–1.0) mm long, 0.6–0.7 mm wide; appendage 0.2–0.3 mm long.