Herbs, perennial, cespitose, forming domes of rosettes, 15--40 cm. Leaves narrowly to broadly linear, gradually attenuate, 2.5--6(--12) cm. Inflorescences: scape sheaths as long as leaves; scapes filiform, 0.5 mm thick distally, obscurely 4--5-ribbed, pilose from base to apex (s Florida extreme of species glabrous-scaped); mature heads whitish to pale gray, globose to short-cylindric, 4--7(--9) mm wide; receptacle densely pilose; outer involucral bracts becoming reflexed, brownish, oblong to triangular, 1--1.5 mm, apex acute or obtuse, surfaces hairy abaxially and at margins; receptacular bracts dark brown, mostly spatulate, 1.5--2 mm, apex obtuse, distally with white, club-shaped hairs. Staminate flowers: sepals 3, dark brown, narrowly spatulate, 1.5--2 mm, apex acute, abaxially with white hairs; androphore pale, narrowly club-shaped, 1.5 mm, glabrous; stamens 3, appendages 3. Pistillate flowers: sepals 3, pale, oblong to broadly linear, 2 mm (enlarging to 3 mm), apex acute, distal abaxial surface pubescent, hairs white; gynoecium 3-carpellate; stylar column pale, dilated apically, appendages 3. Seeds pale to dark brown, not lustrous, ellipsoid, 0.5--0.55 mm, longitudinal ribs conspicuous, pale, transverse ribs less conspicuous, pattern fine but coarser than in L. beyrichianum. Flowering spring--summer. Moist sands and peats of shores, pine savanna, bog and seep edges, flatwoods clearings; 0--400 m; Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va.; West Indies (Cuba).
Tufted, beset at the base with old fibrous lf-bases; lvs 3-6 cm, 2-3.5 mm wide at base, tapering gradually to the slender tip, smooth or with scattered multicellular hairs; scapes 1-several, 1-4 dm, twisted, usually sparsely villous with ascending hairs 1-2 mm; heads globose to short-cylindric, 4-7 mm thick, whitish or pale gray; invol bracts mostly 1-1.5 mm, obtuse, fringed above with clavate white hairs; receptacular bracts 1.5-2 mm, white-hairy distally, as also the sep; staminodes short, fringed. Moist or wet to fairly dry places on the coastal plain from Va. to Fla., Tex., and Cuba, seldom in the mts. of N.C., Ga., and Ala. June-Aug.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.