Herbs, bulbous-based, (5-)10-50(-70) cm. Culms erect to radiately spreading, leafy at base, most of length a scape; scape glabrous, wiry, 0.5 mm diam. Leaves: proximal leaves persistent as fibrous scales; principal leaves at least 1/2 as long as scapes; sheaths open, broad-based, shorter than blades, margins pale or brown, scarious, forming broad auricle at junction with blade; blades filiform, to 1 mm, margins incrassate, glabrous or scabridulous, apex acute to blunt, scabrid; abaxial surfaces convex, coarsely ribbed, adaxial flat or concave. Spikelets commonly 1, less often 2(-3) in simple monochasium or dichasium, lance-ovoid, 10-15 mm, glabrous, acute; scales at least 10, ovate, curvate-keeled, proximal 1-4 bracteal, at least proximalmost with strong cusp, the rest fertile, apex short acuminate or acute, mucronate to apiculate; stamens 1-3; anthers 3-4 mm. Achenes pale, 2.5-3 mm; body nearly globose, pebbly. 2n = 20. Fruiting all year. Rocky, gravelly savanna, solution pockets in limerock; 0-50 m; Fla.; Mexico; West Indies; Bermuda; Central America; South America; Eurasia; Africa; Indian Ocean Islands; Pacific Islands; Australia.