Stout perennial 3-8 dm, with short, knotty rhizomes; lvs firm, to 10 mm wide, often equaling the stem; longer bracts usually surpassing the infl; rays 4-10, to 15 cm; spikes unbranched, mostly rather loose, short-cylindric, rounded at both ends, 2-5 cm; spikelets 15-50, the upper ascending or erect, the middle spreading, the lower deflexed, subulate, 3-10-fld, 1 mm thick, acuminate, deciduous at maturity; scales 4-6 mm, appressed, finely multiribbed, obtuse, the tip of one reaching just to the base of the next one above on the same side, the lower empty and often more persistent than the others; anthers 1-1.5 mm; achenes trigonously linear-oblong, 2.5-3 mm, held between the broad hyaline wings of the rachilla. Woods and fields; N.J. to O. and Mo., s. to S.C., Ga., Ala., and Ark.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.