Description from Flora of China
Scirpus puberulus Poiret (1805), not Michaux (1803).
Rhizomes absent. Culms tufted, 10-30 cm tall, slender, smooth. Leaf sheath straw-colored to brownish, thinly membranous, pubescent; leaf blade capillary, 4-6 cm × 0.4-0.8 mm, abaxially pubescent, margin entire and slightly revolute, apex acuminate. Involucral bracts 2 or 3, setaceous, ca. 8 mm, base membranous, margin ciliate. Inflorescence a simple or compound anthela, with 1-3 or more spikelets, often congested to almost capitate, sometimes reduced to a single spikelet. Spikelets ovoid-oblong to ovoid, 3-6 × 1-2 mm, 7-21-flowered, base obtuse to rounded, apex acute. Glumes brownish to dark brown, ovate to broadly ovate, 1.5-2 × 1-1.5 mm, keeled, membranous, abaxially pubescent, margin ciliate, apex with a 1-3-veined yellowish green costa excurrent into a recurved mucro. Stamen 1; anther oblong, apex acute. Style filiform, base depressed globose; stigmas 3. Nutlet white to grayish yellow, obovoid, ca. 0.8 × 0.5-0.6 mm, 3-sided, apex contracted with a persistent depressed bulbous style base. Fl. and fr. Feb-Jun. 2n = 20.
Sandy areas. S Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan [Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; tropical Africa, Indian Ocean islands, Madagascar].