Rhizomatous. Stems erect, terete, 5–30 cm, not tufted. Leaves basal and cauline; blades channeled or folded, 1–3 mm wide; auricles absent. Inflorescence 1 to 3 clusters of 2 to 8 flowers each; main bract usually greater than the inflorescence. Flowers: prophylls absent; tepals purple or brown, 4–6 mm long, narrow, acute; stamens 6. Capsules 5–8 mm long, exserted, acutely tapered to the beak; seed appendages 0.5–1 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
Wet, often gravelly soil in seepage areas in the alpine and subalpine zones.