Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across much of North America; cosmopolitan.
Habitat: Salt marshes, wet meadows, and margins of ponds, especially in alkaline or saline areas.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Stout, herbaceous perennials from rhizomes bearing firm tubers, the stems 2-15 dm. tall, sharply triangular.
Leaves well developed, elongate, flat, up to 1 cm. wide.
Inflorescence of 3-20 spikes, 1.2-2 cm. long and 6-10 mm. thick, rather blunt, sessile in a compact, terminal cluster; inflorescence subtended by several very unequal bracts, 2-4 of them elongate, green and leafy-textured, surpassing the inflorescence; scales tan to dark brown, thin, short-awned from a notched tip; perianth of poorly-developed bristles or none; style branches 2.
Achenes lenticular, 2.5-4 mm. long.