Stout glabrous marsh herbs with sympodial branched rhizomes covered by distichous cataphylls and having terminal erect shoots. Lower leaves transitional, short-bladed; upper leaves with a long sheath closely enveloping the stem, often auricled at the junction with the blade, and a linear obtuse or acute blade gradually widening from a narrow subpetiolar base, semi-cylindric to lenticular in section, sometimes keeled beneath. Male inflorescence apical, dense; flowers reduced to a pedicellate group of 2–4(–7) stamens with the filaments fused below; anthers dithecous, oblong, with the connective produced above; bracteoles filiform, spathulate or spathulate-laciniate; pollen grains shed singly or in tetrads. Female inflorescence a single spike beneath the ?, remote from it or contiguous, rarely with 1 or 2 additional ? spikes remote from each other beneath the first; flowers with the perigonous hairs and bracteoles of similar length, the styles conspicuously longer; bracteoles filiform, broadening into an expanded ovate or spathulate lamina; carpodia about as long as the bracteoles. Follicle narrowly ellipsoid; seed fusiform.
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
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