Plants densely cespitose; rhizomes short. Culms often slightly curved, weak, 2-10 cm. Leaves: sheaths pale to mid brown abaxially, loose, inner band white-hyaline, concave at summit; ligules shorter than wide; blades usually pale to gray-green, flat at base, involute distally, 1-5 cm × 0.5-1.5 mm, exceeding culms. Inflorescences 0.4-1 cm × 3-6 mm; bracts inconspicuous, shorter than spikes. Spike 1(-2), gynecandrous, closely approximate, containing 7-15 perigynia, obovoid or suborbicular, 4-7 × 4 mm. Pistillate scales chestnut-brown with lighter center and very narrow hyaline margins, broadly ovate, subequal to perigynia, apex obtuse. Perigynia closely appressed, gray-brown to pale or mid brown, lightly or obscurely several-veined, ovate, 1.5-2 × 1.25 mm, widest near middle, subcoriaceous; beak short, entire. Achenes red-brown, obovate, 1.2 × 0.7-1 mm, dull to slightly glossy. 2n = 64. Fruiting Jul-Aug. Sandy, gravelly seashores in Arctic; 0-10 m; Greenland; Man., N.W.T., Nunavut, Que., Yukon; Alaska; Eurasia.