Herbs, perennial, tufted, 2–10 dm. Rhizomes poorly developed. Culms erect, nearly terete to slightly compressed, never rooting at nodes. Leaves: basal several, cauline 1–3; auricles rounded, 1–3 mm, apex acutish, membranous; blade pale green, basal blade striate, channeled, basal 1/2–1 times length of culm; cauline 8–15 cm × 1–3 mm. Inflorescences glomerules, 8–25, each with 3–5 flowers, open; primary bract much shorter than inflorescence. Flowers: tepals greenish with reddish or brown tinge, lanceolate, 5–6 mm, outer series shorter; stamens 6, filaments 0.5–1 mm, anthers 1.8–2.6 mm; style 0.5–1 mm. Capsules tan, 3-locular, obovoid, 3–4.5 mm, shorter than perianth. Seeds ovoid, 0.6 mm, not tailed.
Phenology: Flowering and fruiting summer.
Habitat: Wet banks and meadows in chaparral and low mountains
Elevation: 700–2600 m
Ariz., Calif., Nev.