Herbs, perennial, cespitose, 1.5--6 dm. Culms erect, 1--3 mm diam., smooth. Cataphylls 0--1, straw-colored, apex acute. Leaves: basal 1, cauline 1--3; auricles 0.5--1 mm, apex rounded, scarious; blade terete, 4.5--15 cm x 1--2 mm. Inflorescences panicles or racemes of 3--35 heads, 2--16 cm, branches widely spreading (at least the proximalmost); primary bract erect; heads 2--10(--20)-flowered, obconic to nearly spheric, 3--9 mm diam. Flowers: tepals greenish, becoming straw-colored, lanceolate; outer tepals 1.8--3 mm, apex acuminate; inner tepals 2--3.2 mm, apex acuminate; stamens 3, anthers 1/3 filament length. Capsules exserted, straw-colored, imperfectly 3-locular, ovoid to prismatic, 3--3.8 mm, apex acute proximal to beak, valves separating at dehiscence. Seeds ellipsoid, 0.7--1.2 mm, tailed; body covered with whitish translucent veil. Fruiting late summer--fall. Stream banks, lake and pond shores, bogs, and other wet places; 0--1000 m; Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Ga., Ill., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mo., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., Tenn., Va., W.Va.
Slender, 3-8 dm; lvs terete, septate, 1 mm thick; infl open, divaricately branched, the lower branches nearly horizontal; heads few-many, obpyramidal and 5-fld to hemispheric and 20-fld; fls eprophyllate; perianth and fr as in no. 26 [Juncus canadensis J. Gay, but smaller, the sep 1.9-3 mm, the pet 2.1-3.2 mm, the fr 3-3.6 mm; seeds fusiform, 0.7-1.2 mm, with a short appendage at each end. Swamps and wet shores; N.S. to Va. and in the mts. to n. Ga.; inland to O., W.Va., Tenn., and Mo.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
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