Perennial, compactly tufted. Culms 30–80 cm tall, smooth or spinulose, 2–3-noded, nodes dark, exposed. Basal leaves 1/2 length of culms, leaf sheaths smooth or spinulose, shorter than internodes; leaf blades setaceous, convolute, outer surface smooth or scabrid to shortly spinulose; ligule 2–10 mm, of basal leaves rounded, of culm leaves lanceolate. Panicle narrow, 10–20 cm, base enclosed by expanded uppermost leaf sheath. Spikelets yellowish green; glumes narrowly lanceolate, 1.5–2.5 cm, apex filiform; callus pungent, 2.2–3 mm; lemma 9–11 mm, shortly hairy in longitudinal lines, an obscure ring of hairs at awn articulation; awn deciduous, 10–15(–20) cm, scabrid, 2-geniculate, column 1.5–2.5 cm to first bend, 1–1.5 cm to second bend, bristle 9–15 cm, curling. Fl. and fr. Jun–Aug.