Distribution: Both sides of the Cascades in Washington; throughout all of North America except southeastern U.S.
Habitat: Pond and lake margins, wetland and riparian areas.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Stout, herbaceous perennials from rhizomes, the culms 1-3 m. tall, firm, terete, often over 1 cm. thick toward the base.
Leaves few, toward the base of the culm, with well-developed sheath and short blade.
Inflorescence umbel-like, with spikelets in small, sessile clusters on the stiff, ascending branches of the inflorescence; spikelets dull gray-brown, 8-15 mm. long; principle involucral bract solitary, 2-10 cm. long, erect, an extension of the culm, green; lesser bracts small, chaffy and brownish; scales subtending the flowers scarious, 3.5-4 mm. long, with linear, reddish-brown marks on a pale gray background, the margins somewhat lacerate; perianth of 2-6 fragile, barbellate bristles; stamens usually 3; style bifid or trifid.
Achenes 2.2-2.5 mm. long, plano-convex or unequally triangular.