Perennial, tufted. Culms 50–80 cm tall, 3–4-noded, lower nodes concealed. Leaf sheaths smooth or scabrid, lower usually longer than internodes; leaf blades convolute, basal blades up to 40 cm, outer surface smooth; ligule truncate or 2-toothed, ciliate, of basal leaves 0.5–1 mm, of culm leaves 1.5–2 mm. Panicle narrow, 20–50 cm, base often enclosed by expanded uppermost leaf sheath. Spikelets gray-green or purplish brown; glumes narrowly lanceolate, 2.5–3.5 mm, apex filiform; callus pungent, ca. 4 mm; lemma 12–15 mm, shortly hairy in longitudinal lines, a ring of short hairs at awn articulation; awn deciduous, 14–17 cm, scabrid, 2-geniculate, column 3–5 cm to first bend, 1.5–2 cm to second bend, bristle curling, ca. 10 cm. Fl. and fr. Jun–Oct.