Herbs, perennial, tufted, 2–7 dm. Rhizomes densely branching. Culms 1–15(–25). Cataphylls 1–2(–3). Leaves basal, (1–)2–3; auricles 0.2–0.4(–0.6) mm, scarious, rarely ± leathery; blade green, nearly terete, 10–30 cm × 0.5–1 mm, margins entire. Inflorescences terminal, 5–15(–30)-flowered, congested or not, 1–5 cm; primary bract usually much shorter than inflorescence. Flowers: bracteoles 2; tepals greenish to tan, lanceolate or widely so, 3.3–4.4 mm; outer and inner series nearly equal, apex acuminate; stamens 6, filaments 0.5–0.9 mm, anthers 0.4–0.8 mm; style 0.1–0.2 mm. Capsules golden tan or light brown, 3-locular, ellipsoid, (3.3–)3.8–4.7 × (1.1–)1.3–1.7 mm. Seeds tan, ellipsoid to lunate, body (0.52–)5.5–0.65(–0.7) mm, tails 0.2–0.5 mm. 2n = ca. 80.
Phenology: Flowering and fruiting summer–early fall.
Habitat: Permanently moist, usually exposed areas including wet meadows, raised sites or margins of bogs, or depressions along sandy lakeshores
Elevation: 200–1500 m
Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Labr.), N.W.T., N.S., Ont., Que., Sask., Colo., Idaho, Ill., Iowa, Maine, Mich., Minn., Mont., N.Dak., N.Y., S.Dak., Vt., Wis., Wyo.