Perennials, to 70 cm tall, caespitose; rhizomes short, densely branched. Cataphylls 1–2, often reddish. Leaves basal, dark green, (1–) 2–3 per stem, subterete, slightly canaliculate, 5–30 cm long, 0.4–0.8 mm wide; auricles (0.2–) 0.4–0.6 (–0.8) mm long, whitish-scarious or rarely ±subcoriaceous, often with pinkish tinge. Lower bract leaf-like, 3–22 cm long, usually much longer than the inflorescence; second bract often equalling inflorescence or longer, filiform. Inflorescence anthelate, densely branched, 1–8 cm long, 5–50-flowered; peduncles of individual flowers usually 0.3–1.4 mm long. Bracteoles membranous, acute, 1.1–1.6 mm long. Tepals subequal, lanceolate, acute; outer tepals 2.5–4.2 mm long; inner tepals 2.1–3.5 (–4.0) mm long, dark green, later with central band castaneous-brown. Stamens 6; anthers 0.5–0.8 mm long; filaments 0.5–0.8 mm long; style c. 0.2 mm long; stigmas 1.5–2.5 mm long. Capsules trilocular, ellipsoid-trigonous, (2.5–) 2.9–3.5 (–4) × 1.5–1.8 mm, with upper part gradually narrowing into an obtuse to truncate apex, castaneous-brown or dark brown, infrequently lighter, exceeding perianth. Seeds 0.48–0.65 (–0.70) × 0.20–0.25 mm, alveolate-reticulate; appendages absent. 2n = 80, fide N.A.Harriman & D.Redmond, Rhodora 78: 730 (1976).