Description from Flora of China
Scleria chinensis Kunth.
Perennials. Rhizomes woody, covered with purple to purplish brown scales. Culms tufted, 70-120 cm tall, ca. 5 mm wide, 3-angled, slightly scabrous, glabrous. Leaf sheath 1-10 cm, papery, glabrous; sheaths at culm base brown to purplish brown, not winged, with 3 narrowly ovoid teeth of various sizes at opening; sheaths at middle part of culm green, wing 1-3 mm wide; contraligule brown to reddish brown, lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 4-12 mm (fragile tip sometimes broken off), glabrous, margin sometimes apically purple; leaf blade linear, 15-35 cm × 6-9 mm, papery, slightly scabrous, glabrous. Involucral bracts leaflike, basalmost to 20 cm, sheathing; bractlets setaceous, base auriculate and hispid. Inflorescences paniculate, with 1-3 slightly distant lateral branches; branches 6-10 × 2-6 cm, slightly condensed. Spikelets brown to purple, (1 or)2-4 in a cluster, ca. 4 mm, mostly unisexual. Male spikelets oblong-ovoid; glumes 3-4 mm, membranous, margin sometimes ciliate; basal glumes keeled, apex aristate to apiculate. Female spikelets usually growing at base of branch, narrowly ovoid; glumes broadly ovate to ovate-lanceolate, keeled, apex aristate to apiculate. Male flowers: stamens 3. Female flowers: ovary pubescent; stigmas 3. Disk yellow, 1.6-2 mm in diam., with dense rust-colored lines, 3-lobed; lobes nearly semicircular, margin reflexed, apex rounded. Nutlet white, subspherical, ca. 2.5 mm in diam., slightly 3-sided, slightly reticulately pitted, slightly stellate pubescent. Fl. and fr. Dec-Apr.
Valleys, forests, grasslands; (below 100-)300-900 m. Guangdong, Hainan [Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam; tropical Australia, Pacific islands].