Plants cespitose, usually sparsely appressed-strigose; with cormoid caudices, new shoots developing near bases of old stems. Stems 1-5(-10+). Peduncles long, slender, bracts 1-5. Phyllaries subequal (outer longest and foliaceous), apices not strongly squarrose. 2n = 10, 20, 30.
Flowering late Jul-Sep. Well-drained soils, stream banks and slopes, edges of alkali lakes and flats, prairies and plains, mesic montane habitats; 200-2400 m; Alta., B.C., Man., N.W.T., Sask., Yukon; Alaska, Ariz., Colo., Idaho, Minn., Mont., N.Mex., N.Dak., S.Dak., Utah, Wyo.