Plants ± colonial; rhizomes short-creeping between patches. Culms 25-95 cm; vegetative culms numerous, conspicuous, with 15-35 leaves, 3-ranked. Leaves: sheaths with adaxial hyaline band, summits U-shaped, prolonged 0.4-1.6 mm beyond collar; distal ligules 2-3.5 mm; blades 4-7 per fertile culm, pleated, ± auriculate at collar, 9-20 cm × 1-2.7 mm. Inflorescences open or dense, light green to light brown, 1.3-4 cm × 8-12 mm; proximal internode 2-9 mm; 2d internode 2-5 mm; proximal bracts scalelike or with bristle tips to 3.7 cm. Spikes 2-4(-6), distant, distinct, clavate-ovoid, 6-18 × 6-12 mm, base attenuate on terminal spike, truncate on lateral spikes, apex rounded. Pistillate scales silvery white to pale brown, narrow green to brown midstripe, narrowly ovate, 2.3-3.8 mm, as long as and narrower than perigynia, apex obtuse to acute. Perigynia widely spreading, green to pale brown, conspicuously 5-10-veined abaxially, conspicuously 3-7-veined adaxially, elliptic to nearly orbiculate, plano-convex to biconvex, (4-)4.5-6.6 × 2.2-3.5 mm, 0.6 mm thick, sometimes finely papillose, margin flat, including wing 0.8-1.3 mm wide; beak white or pale brown at tip, flat, ciliate-serrulate, abaxial suture usually inconspicuous, distance from beak tip to achene 2-3 mm. Achenes narrowly oblong-lanceolate, 1.8-2.6 × 0.9-1.2 mm, 0.6 mm thick. 2n = 74. Fruiting spring. Bottomland woods on clayey and silty soils, riverbanks; 10-100 m; Ark., La., Miss., Okla., Tenn., Tex.