Contributions from the U. S. National Herbarium 4: 207. 1893.
Herbs, perennial, 2–4 dm. Rhizomes creeping. Culms compressed. Leaves: basal several, cauline 0–3; auricles, if present, 0.5–1 mm, apex acutish; blade flat, basal 10–40 cm × 1–6 mm, cauline blade reduced. Inflorescences glomerules, usually 3–12, each with 5–10 flowers, open; primary bract much shorter than inflorescence. Flowers: tepals brown, lanceolate, 5–6 mm, apex obtuse; outer series shorter, margins scarious, apex acute, minutely papillose; inner series with margins clear; stamens 6, filaments 0.5–1 mm, anthers 1.6–2.4(–3) mm; style 0.5–2 mm. Capsules tan, 3-locular, obovoid, 3–5 mm, shorter than perianth. Seeds ovoid, 0.6 mm, not tailed.
Phenology: Flowering and fruiting late spring to summer.
Habitat: Moist ground in mountain meadows
Elevation: 1200–3500 m
B.C., Calif., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Oreg., Wash.