Stems 5-55 cm, coarsely glandular-pubescent below inflorescence, hairs usually cylindrical, 4-6 times longer than wide, or stems occasionally clavate and glands absent. Inflorescences spikelike, 3-24-flowered, forming cylindrical-ovate heads, sometimes interrupted or open, 1-4.5 cm; bracteoles often glandular. Flowers: tepals 3-5 mm; stamens 3-4.2 mm; styles 0.7-1.5 mm; pedicel 2-12 mm. Capsules 4-7.5 mm. Seeds 3-4 times longer than wide; appendages usually 2, one at each end, one often highly contorted, to 4 times longer than seed, the other short; coat not strongly inflated. 2n = 30. Flowering summer. Wet meadows, marshes; 0--2700 m; Alta., B.C.; Alaska, Idaho, Mont., Wyo.