Enumeratio Stirpium Pleraumque, quae sponte crescung in agro Vindobonensi 60, 235. 1762.
Herbs, perennial, to 8 dm. Rhizomes short- creeping or densely branching, if densely branching herb appearing cespitose. Cataphylls 1–3. Leaves basal and cauline, 1–2; auricles 0.3–0.5 mm, scarious to membranous; blade flat to slightly channeled, 5–35 cm × 0.8–2 mm, margins entire. Inflorescences 5–60-flowered, lax, loose to moderately congested, 1.5–8 cm; primary bract usually exceeding inflorescence. Flowers: bracteoles 2; tepals brownish, ovate to oblong, 1.7–2.7 mm; inner and outer series nearly equal, apex obtuse; stamens 6, filaments 0.5–0.7 mm, anthers 0.6–1 mm; style 0.3 mm. Capsules brown or darker, pseudo-3-locular, widely ellipsoid to obovoid, 2.5–3.5 × 1.4–1.8 mm, exceeding tepals. Seeds light brown, ellipsoid to lunate, 0.35–0.556 mm, not tailed. 2n = 44.
Phenology: Flowering and fruiting late spring–early summer.
Habitat: Disturbed ground, especially ditches, along railroads and banks of canals and roadsides, frequently in saline or alkaline soils
Elevation: 1500–2100 m
Introduced; Man., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., Que., Colo., Maine, Md., Mich., Minn., Mont., Nebr., N.Y., N.Dak., Utah, Wis., Wyo., Europe, w Asia.