in J. Lamarck et al., Encycl. 3: 267. 1789.
Herbs, perennial, rhizomatous, tosometimes nearly cespitose, 0.8–7 dm. Rhizomes usually tuberous, 2–4 mm diam. Culms erect, terete, 1–3 mm diam., smooth. Cataphylls 0–1. Leaves: basal 1–2, cauline 2–3, green; auricles 1–2 mm, apex rounded, membranaceous; blade terete, 2–23 cm × 1–2 mm, distal cauline leaf blade 1.6–26 cm, equaling or longer than sheath. Inflorescences terminal panicles of 1–23(–32) heads, 2.5–9 cm, branches ascending to erect; primary bracts erect; heads 20–60-flowered, spheric or usually lobed, 6–11 mm diam. Flowers: tepals green to straw-colored, lance-subulate, 2–3.5 mm, nearly equal, apex acuminate; stamens 3, anthers 1/3 filament length. Capsules exserted, straw-colored, 1-locular, lance-subulate, 3–4 mm, apex tapering, remaining attached at tip, valves not separating at dehiscence, fertile throughout or only proximal to middle. Seeds oblong, 0.4 mm, not tailed; body clear yellow-brown.
Phenology: Fruiting early summer–fall.
Habitat: Wet sandy soil, salt marshes, lake shores, ditches, meadows, wet woods
Elevation: 0–1400 m
Ala., Ark., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kans., Ky., La., Md., Mich., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va.