Perennials, 50–85 cm tall, loosely caespitose; rhizome stout, 4–9 mm in diam., creeping, with internodes 0.5–1 cm, covered with scarious scales. Stem terete, 1.2–2.5 mm in diam., smooth. Cataphylls 2–3 per stem, 1–15 cm long, green, stramineous or brown, loose. Leaves cauline, 2–3, 20–80 cm long, unitubular, perfectly but not distinctly septate, 0.8–1.5 mm in diam.; sheaths 5–13 cm long with margins scarious; auricles 1–2 m long, obtuse, scarious. Lower bract sheath-like, 2.5–6.5 mm long, ±shorter than inflorescence; rudimentary blade 0.5–4 cm long. Inflorescence compound, anthelate, usually small, 2.5–7 × 2–4 cm, of 5–12 globose 30–50-flowered stramineous to rarely ±reddish heads 6–10 mm in diam.; main branches ±abbreviated, to 6 cm long, to 1.2 mm diam. Tepals subequal, linear-lanceolate, subulate, 2.3–2.9 mm long, rigid; outer tepals ±carinate, stramineous-brownish, sometimes suffused purplish. Stamens 3; anthers 0.3–0.5 mm long; filaments filiform, c. 1.0–1.2 mm long; style c. 1.0–1.5 mm long; stigmas to 2 mm long. Capsule unilocular, ±ovoid, rostrate, three-lobed in T.S., 2.2–2.9 mm long, equalling or ±exceeding perianth, light brown, remaining connate near rostrum during dehiscence. Seeds ellipsoid, apiculate, 0.3–0.4 × 0.15–0.20 mm, yellowish brown, reticulate; appendages absent.