Densely caespitose perennial to 0.7 m high, with numerous intravaginal innovations and wiry roots.
Leaves with ligule opaque-whitish, papery, obtuse or truncate, 0.5–2.5 mm long; blade convolute-filiform, bristly, 0.25–0.5 mm wide.
Panicle at length shortly exserted, pyramidal, effuse with rather few spikelets towards the tips of the ultimate branches, erect, 10–25 cm long, often purplish, the main axis somewhat compressed and planoconvex. Spikelets narrow-lanceolate, 5–7.5 mm long. Glumes narrow-lanceolate, lower as long as the spikelet, upper a bit shorter, 3-nerved. Lemma obovoid, obscurely 5-nerved, c. 2 mm long, with an eccentric awn to c. 3 cm long; callus bearded, pointed. Palea nerveless.