Perennial, 60-100 cm. Rhizome short, horizontal, covered by brown scales, with tillers. Stem 2-4 mm diam., trigonous, smooth. Leaves basal or subbasal, about equalling stem length; sheaths up to 20 cm, yellowish-green or brown, soft, mouth margin concave; blades to more than 50 cm, flat or folded, keeled, margins slightly revolute, apex acute, trigonous, scabrous. Inflorescence a compound anthelodium, 10-20 cm; lowermost bracts 6-9 foliose, up to 60 cm; primary branches mostly 6-9, to 19 cm, tubular prophyll to 25 mm, bi-nerved, with two aristae; secondary anthelodia 25-50 mm; tertiary anthelodia common, 25-30 mm; cluster of spikes pedunculate or sessile, 15-45 mm, with 20-100 spirally arranged, reflexed spikes. Spikes 3-8 x 1.5-2 mm, ovoid, compressed, glume-like bract c. 1.5 mm, narrow, acute, glume-like prophyll bi-nerved, c. 1.5 mm; rachis flat, reddish-brown, not winged, internodes c. 0.5 mm; glumes c. 2 mm, 6-10 in each spike, cymbiform, mucro c. 0.2 mm, sides widely unnerved, glossy, reddish brown, margins narrowly scarious. Nut 0.5-0.6 x 0.3-0.4 mm, obovoid, trigonous, yellow-brown, shiny, very finely reticulate.