Description from Flora of China
Plants 5-40 cm tall. Stem erect, slender, ribbed, covered with ramified hairs when young. Leaves linear to subulate, 0.6-3.3 cm × 1-3 mm; longitudinal veins 5-7, prominent. Spikes axillary, usually 1-3, tower-shaped; bracts ovate, inflexed in fruit, apex acuminate, mucronate. Perianth segments small, membranous. Stamens 5, exserted. Utricle ovoid, compressed, abaxially convex, glabrous, distinctly irregularly wing-margined apically; beak apically divided into 2 small, acicular beaks, each with a proximal, inflexed, flat, firm, spinelike, glabrous process. Seed oblong, abaxially convex, adaxially plane or concave. Fl. and fr. May-Sep.
Deserts. N Xinjiang (Manas) [Afghanistan, Kazakhstan; C and SW Asia].