Cespitose, low, delicate, mostly smooth, annual or short-lived perennial, 5-20 cm high, stems short. Leaves erect or in fans, 2-8 cm, sheath soft, scarious, keeled, long-ciliate at base, eligulate, blade somewhat to very flattened, 0.5-2 mm wide, margins smooth or ciliolate. Scapes filiform, distally terete, 0.3-0.5 mm thick, finely striate, sometimes 1-3-ribbed, ribs smooth to finely scabro-ciliolate; spikes ellipsoid to lance-ovoid becoming obovoid-turbinate, 5-7 mm, bracts few to several, thin, brown to tan, some or all with prominent but streak-like dorsal area, empty bracts few, subdecussate, smaller than and grading to flowering bracts, these few, lanceolate, navicular, 5-5.5 mm, subentire, keeled from middle up. Sepals lanciform, ca. 5 mm long, subequilateral, acute, the firm keel entire to papillose, or ciliolate; petals obovate, ca. 3 mm; staminodes reduced, often beardless; anthers ca. 1 mm. Capsule ca. 3 mm, placentation basal, valves eseptate; seeds ovoid to ellipsoid, ca. 0.5 mm, deep amber.