Perennials, 8–18 (–29) cm tall; rhizome long, creeping; stoloniform, c. 1.0–1.7 mm thick, with remote scarious-stramineous scales. Stem slightly compressed, ±rigid, minutely papillose distally. Cataphylls 0–2, greenish to brown; basal leaves 2–5, c. 6–13 (–20) cm long; cauline leaves 1–3, shorter, margins papillose at least distally; sheath margins scarious; auricles usually ±absent, less often developed, scarious, to 1 mm long. Lower bract leaf-like or pale brownish, 1–5 cm long, equalling or exceeding inflorescence. Inflorescence usually a single, semiglobose–globose c. 2–8-many-flowered dark castaneous terminal head, or composed of 2 (–4) shortly pedunculate clusters of 2–15 flowers. Tepals ±equal or outer ones slightly longer, ovate-lanceolate, finely papillose; outer tepals with narrow scarious to membranous margins, ±acute, deep to dark castaneous brown to dark brown, with central band green to paler brown, ; inner tepals ±obtuse to subacute, with broader scarious margins. Stamens 6. Capsule trilocular, ±broadly obovoid, ±truncate to retuse at apex, 3.5–4.5 mm long, shorter than or ±equalling perianth, dark castaneous-brown. Seeds ±obliquely ovoid, apiculate, c. 0.5–0.7 × c. 0.3 mm; outer seed-coat not tight, usually shining, slightly reticulate; appendages absent. 2n = 38, fide R.L.Taylor & G.A.Mulligan, Fl. Queen Charlotte Isl. 2: 44 (1968).