Perennials, (15–) 20–50 (–65) cm tall, loosely caespitose. Rhizome creeping, 1.5–3 mm in diam.; scales few or absent; internodes 0.5–1.0 cm long. Stem erect or slightly curved, 1–2.5 mm in diam. Cataphylls 0–3 per stem, 1.5–7 cm long, suffused reddish when young, later light brown with distinct scarious margins, with rudimentary blade to 2 mm long. Basal leaves 1–4. Cauline leaves 1–2, 10–30 cm long, elliptic to round in T.S., unitubular, perfectly septate, 1.0–2.5 mm in diam., slightly compressed laterally; sheaths 3–12 cm long; margins scarious; auricles scarious, 0.3–1.3 mm long. Lower bract to 12 cm long, leaf-like, sometimes scarious and to 2 cm long; capitulum bracts scarious, c. 3 mm long. Inflorescence terminal, racemose; distal peduncles with 3 to several flowers in heads. Tepals subequal, lanceolate, dark brown, sometimes with green midrib and castaneous margins at base; outer tepals carinate, 2.3–3.0 mm long; inner tepals ±flat, 2.0–2.5 mm long. Stamens 6, with inner series sometimes shorter than the outer one; anthers oblong, 0.4–0.8 mm long; filaments 0.8–1.0 mm long; style 0.2–0.3 mm long; stigmas 0.8–1.0 mm long. Capsule unilocular, ellipsoid, trigonous, later three-keeled, acuminate, 2–3 × 0.9–1.6 mm, equalling or rarely longer than perianth, dark brown. Seeds ellipsoid, apiculate, c. 0.5 × 0.2 mm, yellowish brown, conspicuously reticulate; appendages absent.