Perennials, caespitose to mat-forming; rhizome well developed. Leaves ±flat to subterete, narrow, adaxially with enlarged epidermis cells; margins with sclerenchyma strands. Inflorescence terminal; flowers borne singly in usually loose cymes; rarely peduncles abbreviated; each flower subtended by two bracteoles. Seeds longitudinally alveolate-reticulate; appendages absent, rarely present.
A widespread section of 35 species native to all temperate regions except for South Africa, with main diversity centres in W and E North America, Central Asia and temperate South America. Several species approach the sect. Juncotypus in having ±pseudolateral inflorescence, and almost terete leaves and lower bract (J. capillaceus, J. coriaceus).