Perennial, forming dense spreading mats from slender underground rhizomes. Culms erect from nodes of rhizome, stiff, 10–30 cm tall, branched at base. Leaf sheaths glabrous, usually persistent at base, pilose at mouth; leaf blades broadly linear, flat or margins involute, stiff, suberect to patent, 2–10 cm, 2–3 mm wide, green or gray-green, glabrous, apex pungent. Inflorescence linear-elliptic, 2–4(–8) × 0.4–0.5 cm, usually shortly exserted from uppermost leaf sheath; spikelets many, closely overlapping; pedicels shorter than spikelet, ca. 3 mm, widened at apex. Spikelets 4–8 × 1–1.5 mm, yellowish brown or purplish brown; lower glume absent; upper glume lanceolate-oblong to narrowly oblong with slightly falcate apex, obscurely 7–11-veined, midvein usually shortly excurrent; lemma lanceolate-oblong, 3–4 mm, 1-veined; palea absent. Anthers 1.5–2.5 mm. Fl. and fr. May–Oct.