Habit: evergreen perennial rush forming large tufts of narrow, erect stems. The stems are thin, gray-green, often somewhat waxy, and grooved. The leaves are reduced to brown sheaths near the base of the plant. The brown to a straw colored inflorescence sprouts laterally from the side of the stem rather than its tip and can be open or tightly compacted. Spreading rush blooms between May and August. The fruit is a spherical red or brown capsule that fills and bulges from the dried flower remnants when mature.
Ecology: found growing in marshes and other wet areas only along the Pacific Coast from Southern Washington south into Northern Mexico, at elevations less than 5250 ft (1600 m) in wetlands sometimes near spring and seeps.
Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade, moist to wet soil tolerates no drainage and seasonal flooding. It can be surprisingly drought tolerant once established.