A common perennial herb of marshes, swamps, cypress domes, lake shores and pond margins throughout most of Florida. The range includes all of the United States except Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Hawaii. In Canada it is found in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
The flowers are small, white, often pinkish or greenish, with 4-6 petal-like sepals in jointed stalks. Leaves are alternate, with tube-like sheaths along the stem above the leaf bases. Leaves are narrowly lanceolate, 0.5-1.5 cm (3/16-9/16 in.) wide and 4-10 cm (1-1/2 to 4 in.) long.