Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 31: 45. 1918.
Herbs, perennial, cespitose, 1.5–6 dm. Culms erect, 1–3 mm diam., smooth. Cataphylls 0–1, straw-colored, apex acute. Leaves: basal 1, cauline 1–3; auricles 0.5–1 mm, apex rounded, scarious; blade terete, 4.5–15 cm × 1–2 mm. Inflorescences panicles or racemes of 3–35 heads, 2–16 cm, branches widely spreading (at least the proximalmost); primary bract erect; heads 2–10(–20)-flowered, obconic to nearly spheric, 3–9 mm diam. Flowers: tepals greenish, becoming straw-colored, lanceolate; outer tepals 1.8–3 mm, apex acuminate; inner tepals 2–3.2 mm, apex acuminate; stamens 3, anthers 1/3 filament length. Capsules exserted, straw-colored, imperfectly 3-locular, ovoid to prismatic, 3–3.8 mm, apex acute proximal to beak, valves separating at dehiscence. Seeds ellipsoid, 0.7–1.2 mm, tailed; body covered with whitish translucent veil.
Phenology: Fruiting late summer–fall.
Habitat: Stream banks, lake and pond shores, bogs, and other wet places
Elevation: 0–1000 m
Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Ga., Ill., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mo., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., Tenn., Va., W.Va.