Engelm., Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis 2: 470 (1868)
T: California, Mendocino City, Oct 1865, H.N.Bolander s.n.; holo: MO; iso: GH29616.
Perennials, 25–85 cm tall. Rhizomes short-creeping to long-creeping, 2–3 mm in diam., tuberous. Cataphylls 1–2, stramineous, acute; basal leaves 1 or absent, 7–28 cm long. Cauline leaves 2–3, 7–28 cm long, terete; septa perfect, visible externally, prominent in dry condition, unitubular, 1–2.5 mm in diam.; tip obtuse; sheaths long, distally lax; auricles 2–3 mm long, acute, membranous. Lower bract leaf-like, terete, 1.5–5 cm long, usually exceeding inflorescence, erect; other bracts membranous, narrowly ovate, 2.2–2.5 mm long. Inflorescence racemes of 2–8 heads, often subcongested, rarely with 1–2 heads pedunculate, or single heads, 1–13 cm tall, with ascending to spreading branches; heads spherical, 40–70-flowered, 7–11 mm in diam. Tepals equal, linear-lanceolate; apex subulate, initially greenish pale brown, later dark reddish brown to light brown, acuminate, (2.6–) 3–3.5 (–4) mm long. Stamens 3, not exserted; anthers 0.4–0.6 mm long; filaments 1.0–1.5 mm long; style 0.1 mm long; stigmas 0.7–0.8 mm long. Capsules unilocular, ellipsoid to oblong, sharply trigonous, acuminate or mucronate, 3–3.5 mm long, castaneous-brown, slightly shorter than to equalling perianth. Seeds ovoid, 0.4–0.5 × 0.2 mm, reticulate; appendages absent.