Herbs, perennial, 6--20 cm (--80 cm when submersed). Leaves linear-attenuate, 1--10 cm (--20 cm when submersed), apex filiform. Inflorescences: scape sheaths mostly shorter than leaves in emergents, exceeding them in drier sites; scapes linear, 1 mm wide, 4--7-ribbed; heads (young or mature) very pale, hemispheric to nearly globose, rarely short-cylindric, 4--10 mm wide, soft, flattened when pressed; receptacle glabrous; involucral bracts sometimes squarrose, obscured by reflexed bracteoles and flowers of mature heads, straw-colored, orbiculate to ovate, 2--2.5 mm, margins entire, apex rounded, with white, club-shaped hairs; receptacular bracts and bracteoles pale except for grayish midzone, obovate to cuneate, 2 mm, margins entire, apex acute, ciliate, distal abaxial surfaces with white, club-shaped hairs. Staminate flowers: sepals 2, grayish, oblong-linear, curvate, 1.5--2 mm, apex acute with white, club-shaped hairs; androphore club-shaped; petals 2, pale, triangular, 0.5 mm, ciliate, hairs club-shaped; stamens 4; anthers black. Pistillate flowers: sepals 2, basally pale, darkening distally to grayish, gray-green, or gray-brown, narrowly oblong-obovate, curved, 2 mm, apex rounded, abaxially with white, club-shaped hairs; petals 2, yellow-white, broadly spatulate, flat, 1.5--2 mm, apex rounded, abaxially with white hairs, adaxially with white or clear hairs; pistil 2-carpellate. Seeds dark red-brown, ovoid or ellipsoid, 0.5--0.75 mm, faintly rectangular-reticulate, often papillate in lines. Flowering mostly summer--fall. Sandy or peaty shores, hypericum ponds, wet savanna, southern coastal plain terraces; 0--100 m; Ala., Fla., Ga., N.C. Eriocaulon lineare closely resembles E. texanum, although it has paler bracts and flowers and a glabrous (rather than pilose) receptacle. Eriocaulon lineare blooms later and is most common in the margins or shallows of ponds, rather than in the sphagnous bogs favored by E. texanum.