Perennials, densely caespitose; shoots intravaginal; rhizome abbreviated. Young plants often with some vegetative shoots. Inflorescence of various forms, composed of many (1–) 2–4-flowered often confluent heads. Lower two bracts leaf-like, 3–25 (–40) cm long, including the (2–) 3–6 (–10) cm long sheath; middle bracts with broad amplexicaul base; upper bracts shorter that perianth, ovate, usually brownish-membranous. Tepals ±equal; inner tepals with prominent, scarious apical auricles, notched. Stamens 6, slightly shorter than or equalling tepals. Capsule (3–) 4–6 mm long, with 80–120 seeds; apex subconical to obtuse. Seeds ellipsoidal to narrowly ovoid, c. 20–25-striate, light brown with darker tips; outer seed-coat distinct; appendages distinct, ±equal.