Perennials, 20–70 cm tall, caespitose; rhizome short, ±vertical, densely branching. Cataphylls 1–2, stramineous to pink; basal leaves 1–3, 0.2–12 cm long. Cauline leaves 1–2, 0.2–12 cm long, terete to compressed, unitubular, septate; tip blunt; auricles 0.6–1.5 mm long, rounded, scarious. Lower bract leaf-like, terete, 1–5 cm long, shorter than the inflorescence, erect; other bracts herbaceous, lanceolate, 2–13 mm long. Inflorescence decompound, diffuse, anthelate, of 5–80 heads, 5–25 cm tall, with branches variously erecto-patent; heads ellipsoid to obovoid, 2–6-flowered, 2–5 mm in diam. Tepals unequal, lanceolate, green to light brown, obtuse to subacute; inner tepals 2–2.8 mm long; outer tepals 1.8–2.5 mm long. Stamens 3 or 6, not exserted; anthers 0.4–0.5 mm long; filaments 0.7–1.1 mm long; style 0.4–0.6 mm long; stigmas 0.6–1 mm long. Capsules imperfectly trilocular, narrowly ovoid to obconic, acutely trigonous, acute below the c. 0.3 mm long rostrum, 2.4–3.8 mm long, castaneous to dark brown, much exceeding perianth. Seeds pale brown, 0.4–0.6 × 0.2–0.3 mm, or 0.8–0.9 mm long including appendages; appendages subequal, 0.1–0.2 mm long; outer seed coat loose, faintly striate. 2n = 80, fide N.A.Harriman & D.Redmond, Rhodora 78: 734 (1976).