Spikelets 1-fld, articulated at the base, readily deciduous, subterete, unisexual, the staminate on the lower, the pistillate on the upper branches of the large panicle; glumes none; lemma of the staminate spikelet thin, herbaceous, linear, acuminate or short-awned, 5-veined; pistillate spikelets inserted in a cup-shaped excavation at the summit of the clavate pedicels, the lemma awned, prominently 3-ribbed, closely clasping the palea to produce the illusion of a single sheath around the rod-like grain; grasses of marshes and shallow water, with tall stems and wide flat lvs. 4, incl. 1 in Tex. and 1 in e. Asia.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.