Habit: stems are triangular in cross-section. Five to eleven flat, grass like leaves sprout from the base and along the stem. Leaf bases are tinged reddish purple where they clasp the stem. Inflorescence is a panicle of many clusters of spikelets and leaf like bracts on the ends of several branched stems. The fruit is a pale, smooth achene.
Ecology: found across much of North America in wet areas such as swamps, ditches, marshes and meadows up to 9500 ft (2900 m) elevation.
Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade in moist soil to standing water.
Spreads readily by rhizomes, good species for controlling soil erosion.