Description from Flora of China
Fimbristylis aphylla var. gracilis Tang & F. T. Wang; F. globulosa (Retzius) Kunth var. aphylla (Steudel) Miquel.
Perennials. Rhizomes short, woody. Culms densely tufted, 30-100 cm tall, slender, 5-angled, smooth, bearing a few bladeless sheaths at base. Basal leaf sheaths cylindric, margin brown and membranous, apically attenuate, mouth obliquely truncate. Leaves on vegetative shoots often with only blades; leaf blade linear, margins involute. Involucral bracts 3-5, needlelike, 0.6-2.5 cm, much shorter than inflorescence, margin scabrid. Inflorescence a decompound anthela, spreading; rays 5-8, to 7 cm, slender. Spikelets solitary, oblong to ellipsoid, 2.5-7 × 1.2-3 mm. Glumes densely spirally imbricate, rust-colored to yellowish brown, broadly ovate to subelliptic, ca. 2.5 mm, membranous, prominently 3-veined forming an abaxial keel, veins yellow to greenish yellow and often dark brown between lateral veins, margin paler, apex obtuse to rounded and apiculate. Stamens 3; anthers linear. Style short and flat, not ciliate, basally slightly inflated; stigmas 3, longer than style, densely ciliate. Nutlet pale brown, shortly stipitate, obovoid, 0.6-0.8 mm, 3-sided, transversely wavy verruculose. Fl. Jul, fr. Dec.
Swamps, wet places along streams or in valleys; 400-2400 m. Yunnan [India, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; tropical Africa].