Perennials, 10–60 (–80) cm tall, forming dense rows of stems; rhizome ±short-noded sparsely branched, with several flowering stems and rarely a few 1-leaved sterile shoots. Stem usually leafless, terete, 1–1.5 mm diam., smooth; ridges low, 20–25, inconspicuous when fresh; subepidermal sclerenchyma strands present, often irregular in form and distribution, sometimes a few connected to vascular bundles; epidermis cells uniform; bundles in one row; pith in mature stem diffuse, arachnoid. Cataphylls 3–4; uppermost cataphylls 3–10 cm long, with short awnlike or rarely to 20 cm long blade, ±tight, light stramineous. Lower bract 5–30 (–40) cm, (1/2–) 1–1.5 times as long as stem, with narrow sheath. Inflorescence pseudolateral, usually dense, 4–10-flowered. Bracteoles ovate, c. 1 mm long, acute. Tepals lanceolate; outer tepals longer, 2.5–3.5 mm long, apiculate to mucronate; inner tepals obtuse, stramineous with broad scarious margin. Stamens 6; anthers 0.5–0.6 mm long; 1/2–2/3 as long as c. 0.7–0.9 mm filaments; style 0.1 mm long; stigmas c. 1 mm long. Capsule triseptate, broadly trigonous-ovoid to ±globose, 2.5–3.5 mm long, equalling to slightly shorter than outer tepals, obtuse, shortly or not mucronate, greenish to light brown. Seeds 0.5 × 0.3 mm, obliquely ovoid, irregularly and inconspicuously reticulate, with one indistinct appendage. 2n = 80, fide Á.Löve & D.Löve, Univ. Colorado Stud., ser. biol., 24: 25 (1966); 2n = 84, fide S.Snogerup, in Ö.Nilsson & S.Snogerup, Bot. Not. 124: 311 (1971); R.L.Taylor & G.A.Mulligan, Fl. Queen Charlotte Is. 2: 44 (1968); 2n = 70, fide N.A.Harriman & D.Redmond, Rhodora 78: 731 (1976).