Distribution: Circumboreal, extending south in North America chiefly west of the Cascades to central Oregon; also in North Carolina, Utah and Idaho.
Habitat: Sphagnum bogs, marshes, and other very wet places.
Flowers: July - August
Growth Duration: Perennial
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Densely tufted, herbaceous perennials from short rhizomes, the culms 1-4 dm. tall, smooth, sub-terete, with several light brown scales at the base.
Usually a single leaf near the base with a typical sheath but the blade only 4-6 mm. long, slender.
Inflorescence a solitary, terminal spikelet, 4-6 mm. long, light brown, several-flowered, with only 2-3 empty scales at the base, the lowest scale with a broad, blunt awn 1-3 mm. long; perianth of 6 bristles, all white or with a brown tip, not exceeding the scale; stamens 3; style trifid.
Achenes triangular, 1.5 mm. long.