Distribution: Alaska to Washington, east across southern Canada and northern United States to the Atlantic Coast
Habitat: Shady coniferous forests, bog edges and swamps
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Rhizomatous annual, the stems dimorphic, the sterile ones 3-7 dm. tall, 10- to 18-ridged, the central cavity more than 1/2 the diameter of the stem; stomates in 2 bands in the furrows; sheaths of the sterile stems 4-12 mm. long, green, the teeth 2-7 mm. long, cohering in several broad, brown, papery lobes. Fertile stems appearing earlier than the sterile, usually with longer teeth and sheaths, at first simple and pale, becoming branched and green.
Branches whorled, solid, 4- to 5-angled, usually again branched, spreading to recurved, very slender, about 0.5 mm. thick.
Cone deciduous, long-peduncled, blunt.