Plants 20-90(-130) cm. Corms usually globose to subglobose, sometimes ovoid to elongate. Stems glabrous. Leaves: basal and proximal cauline 3-5-nerved, linear to linear-oblanceolate, 100-400 × 1-3(-5) mm, gradually reduced distally or abruptly on distal 1/2 of stems, essentially glabrous (bases of basal usually fibrous-persistent). Heads in dense, spiciform arrays. Peduncles 0. Involucres cylindro-turbinate, 6-7(-10) × ca. 3 mm. Phyllaries in 3-4 series, (often purple) oblong-oblanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, unequal, essentially glabrous, margins with hyaline borders, ciliolate, apices (erect or ± appressed) acuminate to acute. Florets (2-)3-4(-5); corolla tubes glabrous inside. Cypselae 4-4.5 mm; pappi: lengths ± equaling corollas, bristles barbellate to subplumose. 2n = 20. Flowering (Jun-)Jul-Oct(-Nov). Coastal prairies, prairie remnants, wet pine flats, savannas, oak-pine, ditches, roadsides, railroads, sand, sandy and silty loams, clays; 0-30 m; La., Tex.