Rhizomes long, much branched, buried in sand. Culms to 12 cm × 2 mm, smooth. Leaves: sheath apices truncate; blades with keeled midrib, linear-lanceolate, 3-8 cm × 2-6 mm, leathery, margins scabridulous. Inflorescences: bracts 1-6, leaflike; spikes 1-6, densely ovoid. Spikelets ovoid to ellipsoid; rachilla deciduous, articulate at base, internodes 2-2.6 × 1 mm, corky, wings persistent, clasping (enclosing) achene; bract ovate, 2-2.5 mm; prophyll ovate-lanceolate, 1.5 mm; floral scales 2-3, off-white to reddish brown, 5-9-veined, ovate, 3.3-3.6(-4) × 1.3-1.7 mm. Flowers: stamen filaments 2-3.2 mm; anthers linear, 0.9-1.2(-1.6) mm; connective apices reddish, 0.1-0.4 mm, glabrous; styles 0.5-1 mm; stigmas 2 mm, glabrous. Achenes brown, substipitate, oblong to ellipsoid, 1.8-2 × 0.5-0.6 mm, apex acute, papillose. Fruiting early summer. Sand dunes and upper edges of beaches; 0-10 m; Fla.; West Indies; South America; Asia; Africa; Pacific Islands; Australia. It is easy to mistake the corky rachilla segment, which tightly clasps the mature achene, for a part of the achene (or for an achene). The rachilla segment is smooth, fawn brown, and biconvex in cross section; the achene is dark brown, papillose, and trigonous in cross section.