Distribution: Widely distributed throughout much of Washington; widely distributed throughout much of western and central North America, less widely distributed in eastern North America.
Habitat: Wet places, often where saline or alkaline.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Sturdy perennial with thick, wide-spreading rhizomes, the stems terete, smooth, up to 4 mm. thick at the base, 1.5-8 dm. tall.
Basal sheaths bladeless or with a bristle-like blade less than 1 cm. long.
Inflorescence apparently lateral, the involucral bract terete, erect, sharp-pointed, 5-20 cm. long; panicle highly variable, from subcapitate and 1 cm. long to diffuse and 15 cm. long; perianth greenish to dark brown, 4-5 mm. long, the outer 3 segments longer, pointed, the inner three obtuse; stamens 6.
Capsule ovoid, equal to the inner tepals.