Stems 10-80 cm, glandular below inflorescence with glands dome-shaped to conical, 1/2-2 times longer than wide, or pubescent with cylindrical hairs 2-4 times longer than wide, rarely both glandular and pubescent. Inflorescences usually forming globose heads ca. as long as wide, less often spikelike and forming cylindrical-ovoid heads, 3-45-flowered, sometimes interrupted or open, 1-8 cm; bracteoles usually glandular. Flowers: tepals 3-7 mm; stamens 3.5-6 mm; styles 1.3-3 mm; pedicel 1-12 mm. Capsules 4-8 mm. Seeds often lobed, 1-2(-3) times longer than wide; appendages occasionally absent, usually 1, to 3 times longer than seed, rarely also with short appendage at opposite end; coat strongly inflated. 2n = 30. Flowering summer. Moist meadows, marshes; 0--3300 m; Calif., Oreg.