Herbs, perennial, cespitose, yellowish to light olive when dry, to 5.7 dm, not glaucous. Stems branched, with 1 or 2 nodes, 0.8-1.9 mm wide, usually glabrous, margins entire, similar in color and texture to stem body; first internode 11-36 cm, longer than leaves; distalmost node with 2-3 branches. Leaf blades usually glabrous, bases occasionally becoming fibrous, but not persistent in tufts. Inflorescences borne singly; spathes green or occasionally with purplish tinge on margins, obviously wider than supporting branch, glabrous or slightly scabrous, keels entire; outer 12-16.1 mm, 1.4 mm shorter to 1.5 mm longer than inner, tapering evenly towards apex, margins basally connate 3-5.2 mm; inner with keel evenly curved or straight, hyaline margins 0.2-0.6 mm wide, apex broadly rounded to truncate, usually erose, ending 0-0.5 mm proximal to green apex or, occasionally, exceeding it by up to 0.5 mm. Flowers: tepals light blue or bluish violet to purple or occasionally white, bases yellow; outer tepals 6.3-11 mm, apex emarginate to truncate, aristate; filaments connate ± entirely, stipitate-glandular basally; ovary blackish, in contrast with much lighter foliage. Capsules dark brown to black or purplish black, ± globose to obovoid, 2-4.1 mm; pedicel ascending to erect. Seeds globose to obconic, lacking obvious depression, 0.5-1.2 mm, rugulose or occasionally granular. 2n = 16, 32. Flowering spring--early summer. Moist meadows and coastal dunes in sandy, peaty, or rich, loamy soil; 0--300 m; N.S.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Miss., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.
Light green, somewhat glaucous, usually drying pale, ±spreading and often forming small tussocks; stem slender and wiry, 0.5-2 mm wide, the smooth-margined wings distinctly narrower than the central portion; lvs 1-3 mm wide; spathes evidently peduncled from the axils of lf-like bracts, the stem tending to be geniculate at the nodes and the spathes likewise often geniculate on the peduncles; outer bract of the spathe mostly 1.5-2 cm, its margins connate for 2.5-4 mm at base; inner bract not much shorter than the outer; tep 8-12 mm, blue-violet; fr 3-5 mm; 2n=16, 32, 96. Fields, meadows, open woods, and edges of salt marshes; N.S. and Me., s. in the coastal states to Fla. and Miss., and locally inland to Mich., Ind., Minn., and Mo. (S. strictum)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.