Perennials (25–) 30–55 (–85) cm tall, loosely caespitose. Rhizome long, horizontal to oblique, branched, c. 4–6 mm in diam.; upper part covered with dark castaneous-brown leaf sheath bases,; older sheath remains often forming dark brown fibrous cover; stolons absent. Stem thick, usually 1.5–2.3 mm in the middle, with upper part nodding. Basal leaves ±flat, usually 10–20 cm long, (4–) 5–6 (–8) mm wide; leaves of intravaginal shoots narrower; cauline leaves 3–4 (–5), usually 5–9 cm long; all leaves ±densely ciliate, densely papillose-serrulate, acute with hyaline apex. Lower bract usually narrow, herbaceous (rarely lacking), usually equalling or overtopping inflorescence. Inflorescence nodding, (15–) 20–45 (–80)-flowered, spike-like, lobate, often interrupted at base, usually 2.0–3.5 (–5.0) × 1.0–1.5 cm, composed of 3–10-flowered clusters, with lower 1 (–2) clusters often remote, ±pedunculate. Bracteoles 2.5–3.5 mm long, ±ovate, acuminate, ciliate, brownish-membranous. Tepals subequal, castaneous brown with broad straw-brown membranous margins, c. 4.5–6.0 × 1.5–2.0 mm; outer tepals long acuminate, entire to (later) denticulate; inner tepals usually denticulate near apex, mucronate. Stamens 6; anthers 2.2–2.9 mm long; filaments c. 0.5–0.7 mm long; style 1.8–2.2 mm long; stigmas usually 2.5–3.0 mm long. Capsule paler castaneous-brown, acute to ±acuminate, ±mucronate; capsule segments 3.7–4.8 × c. 2.5–2.7 mm. Seeds pale brown, broadly ovoid, 2.1–2.4 mm long (including a 0.2–0.4 mm long apical caruncle), c. 1.5 mm wide; basal appendage an indistinct paler patch c. 0.1 mm long; base fibrillate. 2n=12, fide C.García-Herran, in litt.; C.Favarger & P.Küpfer, Collect. Bot. (Barcelona) 7: 353 (1968).