Plants perennial; cespitose. Culms 15-80 cm. Sheaths glabrous; ligules ciliate; blades 3-15 cm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, glabrous or sparsely pilose near the base. Panicles with 2-4 branches, these entangled for most of their length, separable only with difficulty, forming a narrow, cylindrical, spikelike inflorescence, individual branches visibly distinct only at the tips; branches 3-12 cm, tightly appressed and adherent, with 9-12 spikelets per cm. Spikelets imbricate, with 1 bisexual and 3 sterile florets. Lower glumes 1.5-2 mm long, about 0.3 mm wide; upper glumes 2.1-2.6 mm long, 0.3-0.6 mm wide; lowest lemmas 2.7-3.5 mm, ovate, margins and keels hairy, hairs to 2 mm, awns 2.7-3.4 mm; second florets about 1.9 mm, glabrous, awned; distal florets unawned. Caryopses 1.2-1.8 mm long, 0.5-0.7 mm wide, trigonous. 2n = 40.