A perennial herbaceous plant with short creeping rhizomes and erect, weakly leafy stems up to 120 cm high.
The leaves are flat, rough along the edges and above, narrowly linear, 3-5 mm wide, with ears at the base of the leaf blade.
Panicles 6-20 cm long, more or less one-sided, compressed, only slightly spreading during flowering. The spikelets are green or slightly purple, linear-oblong, up to 15 mm long, 3-10-flowered. The lower flower scales are broadly lanceolate, glabrous, sharp at the apex, but without an awn. Blooms in summer.