Culms 18-145 cm tall, 0.6-4.8 mm thick, erect to decumbent, sometimes
matted. Ligules of larger cauline leaves 2-9 mm, truncate or acute
to attenuate; widest cauline blades 1.5-17.5 mm wide. Panicles (3)5-25
cm long, (1)1.8-16 cm wide, 1-5.75(7.5) times as long as wide, narrowly
to widely conic, ovoid, or obovoid; lowermost branches stiff to
flexuous, reflexed to erect at maturity. Spikelets 3.6-6.9 mm; florets 2-8. Lower
glumes 0.7-2.1 mm; upper glumes 0.9-2.7 mm; lemmas 2-3.6
mm, truncate to acute; anthers 0.3-1.5 mm. 2n = 14.
All three varieties of Torreyochloa pallida grow in swamps, marshes, bogs, and the margins of lakes and streams. They are usually morphologically distinct and tend to have different geographic ranges.