Perennials, 50–80 cm tall, loosely caespitose; rhizome creeping, 2–4 mm in diam., brown, with thin scarious scales, with internodes 0.5–1.5 cm long. Stem terete, smooth, 1.5–2.5 mm in diam. Cataphylls 1–3 per stem, to 5 cm long, green and herbaceous, later dark brown and sclerified, sometimes glossy. Leaves cauline, usually 2, with lower inserted 5–30 cm from base, 15–35 cm long, unitubular, perfectly but indistinctly septate, 1–2 mm in diam.; sheaths 4–6 cm long, conspicuously scarious-bordered; auricles scarious, 1–2 mm long, obtuse. Lower bract sheath-like, with rudimentary blade, green to brown, much shorter than inflorescence. Inflorescence decompound, anthelate, 3–10 × 2–7 cm, of 5–50 heads; heads conical to semiglobose, 15–50-flowered, dark castaneous, 6–8 mm in diam. Tepals subequal, 3.0–3.5 mm long, linear-lanceolate, subulate, rigid; outer tepals slightly longer, carinate, blackish-castaneous. Stamens 3; anthers c. 0.7 mm long; filaments c. 0.6–0.9 mm long. Capsule unilocular, ±ellipsoid, rostrate, trigonous, 3.0–3.5 mm long, ±equalling perianth, dark brown. Seeds ellipsoid, apiculate, 0.6–0.7 × c. 0.2 mm, brown, reticulate; appendages absent.