Perennials, 3–70 cm tall, rhizomatous. Rhizomes 1–3 mm in diam., long-creeping; nodes not swollen; internodes c. 0.5–2 cm long, rarely longer, sometimes abbreviated; stem base often stoloniferous. Cataphylls absent (rarely 1, to c. 3 cm long, stramineous, loose, apex obtuse); basal leaves 0–2, 1.5–11 cm long. Cauline leaves 1–4, 1.5–11 cm long, terete, usually to 1 mm in diam., bi- or pluritubular, perfectly or imperfectly septate; tip dark and acuminate; auricles 0.3–1 mm long, rounded, membranous; fascicles of short capillary leaves often on rhizomes and stems. Lower bract leaf-like, terete, 1.5–4 cm long, shorter than the inflorescence, erect; other bracts herbaceous, lanceolate, 3–10 mm long. Inflorescence conspicuously diffuse; flowers single or paired (rarely in 3's) at nodes, remote, 2–25 cm tall, with spreading to erect branches. Tepals unequal, oblong, stramineous, usually suffused reddish, obtuse; inner tepals longer, 1.8–2.8 mm long; outer tepals 1.6–2.3 mm long; margins broad, membranous. Stamens 6, not exserted; anthers 0.2–1.2 mm long; filaments 0.2–0.8 mm long; style 0.3–0.5 mm long; stigmas 1–1.6 mm long. Capsules unilocular, ellipsoid to narrowly oblong-ovoid, acute, gradually narrowing in c. 0.5–0.7 mm rostrum, 1.5–3.5 mm long, stramineous-brown to castaneous-brown, shorter than to usually exceeding perianth. Seeds ovoid, 0.3–0.5 × 0.2–0.3 mm, faintly reticulate; appendages absent. 2n = 40, fide N.A.Harriman & D.Redmond, Rhodora 78: 735 (1976). Fig. 85.