Engelm., Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis 2: 433 (1866)
T: USA, Colorado, Lake Ranch, E.Hall & J.P.Harbour 562; holo: MO; iso: K.
Perennials, 20–40 cm tall, densely caespitose, with very short-noded rhizome 1–4.5 cm long. Stem with 1 (–2) basal leaves, terete, slender, 0.5–1.0 mm thick above upper sheath, with 10–20 low inconspicuous ridges (dried); subepidermal sclerenchyma strands lacking; pith white, hollow, not chambered. Cataphylls 4–6, 20–42 mm long, tight; lower cataphylls pale to medium brown, bladeless or with small awnlike blades 0.5–2.5 mm long; uppermost cataphyll with well-developed blade, green to pale brown, with wide fragile scarious margin; margins slightly loose and overlapping to within 1.5–4.0 mm of sheath apex; auricles scarious, obtuse, c. 0.5 mm long. Leaf blade 5–14 (–15) cm long, terete, grooved at base, with low inconspicuous ridges (dried), 0.45–0.9 mm thick at base. Inflorescence pseudolateral, 0.7–2.1 cm long, loose to congested; flowers 2–7, solitary; first bract erect, 10–27 mm long, less than to usually equal or exceeding inflorescence. Bracteoles ovate, pale. Outer tepals 3–5-veined, (4–) 4.6–5.1 (–5.3) mm long, longer than inner ones, all acute and lanceolate or broadly so, light to medium brown with green central band and scarious margin, loosely subtending capsule at maturity. Stamens 6; anthers 0.6–1.2 mm long (dried); filaments 0.7–1.2 mm long; anthers c. equalling filaments. Style c. 0.1 mm long; stigmas 0.3 mm long. Capsule shiny, brown, blunt, retuse, oblong-ovoid to oblong or oblong-obovoid, (3.5) 4.4–4.6 (5.0) × 1.5–3.0 mm, ±equalling perianth, trilocular. Seed body medium brown to amber, finely striate, 0.5–0.6 mm, with dark tips; appendages 2, pale, 0.2–0.35 mm long.