Rhizome short; shoots densely tufted. Culms erect, triquetrous above, may be subterete below, scabrous above, 40–120 cm long, 2–4 mm diam.
Leaves shorter than to equalling culms; blade 2–12 mm wide; sheath grey-brown; ligule rounded to truncate.
Inflorescence erect, narrow, 4–45 cm long, compound, with numerous short spikes solitary at nodes or on appressed spike-like secondary branches to 3 cm long; lowest involucral bract very short. Spikes sessile, contiguous, erect to spreading at maturity, to 1 cm long; all spikes androgynous. Glumes acute, occasionally shortly mucronate, yellow-brown, occasionally with white margins near apex; female glumes 2–2.5 mm long. Utricles ovoid, with thickened truncate base, several-nerved, 2–3 mm long, 1.0–1.7 mm diam., hispid on narrowly winged or ribbed margins, greenish brown to dark yellow-brown; beak c. 1 mm long, with apex 2-fid. . Anthers 1.5–2 mm long excluding appendage c. 0.2 mm long. . Anthers 1.5–2 mm long excluding appendage c. 0.2 mm long. Style 2-fid.
Nut ovoid, lenticular in cross section, yellow-brown.
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