Perennials, slender, rhizomatous, forming mats to 50 cm in diam.; emergent plants 5–10 cm tall. Rhizomes 1 mm in diam.; stolons short or elongated; nodes not swollen. Cataphylls absent; basal leaves 1–5, 1.6–3 cm long. Cauline leaves 1–4, 1.0–3 cm long, terete, bi- or pluritubular, incompletely septate; tip acute; auricles 0.1–0.8 mm long, subacute, membranous, with small fascicles of short capillary leaves often on rhizomes and stems. Lower bract often reduced, sheath-like, mostly ±membranous or castaneous, to 3 mm long, often with a leaf-like blade to c. 2–3 mm long, ovate to lanceolate, shorter than the inflorescence, erect; middle bracts ovate-lanceolate, membranous, centrally ±reddish. Inflorescence 1–4 cm long, of axillary groups of 1–3 flowers at 1–2 nodes; branches spreading to erect. Tepals unequal, oblong, reddish, obtuse; inner tepals 2.2–4.4 mm; outer tepals 1.8–2.8 mm long; central band usually greenish to stramineous, 3-veined, bordered red-brown or reddish; margins broad, membranous. Stamens 6, not exserted; anthers 0.7–0.8 mm long; filaments 0.7–1.0 mm long; style 0.3–0.5 mm long; stigmas 0.5–1.5 mm long. Capsules unilocular, obovoid to narrowly obovoid or obclavate, acute, gradually narrowing in the c. 0.3–0.5 mm rostrum, 2.4–5 mm long, brown to castaneous-brown, ±equalling perianth. Seeds ovoid, pale brown, 0.3–0.5 × 0.2–0.3 mm; appendages absent. 2n = 40, fide R.E.Brooks & S.E.Clemants, Fl. N. Amer. 22: 246 (2000).