Plants moderate-sized to robust, moderately stiff-stemmed, - lax, but not compact; green to pale yellow to yellowish brown; capitulum typically strongly convex in open grown forms, but flat and - 5-radiate in shade forms. Stem pale green to yellowish; superficial cortex of 2 layers of enlarged, thin-walled and well differentiated cells. Stem leaves triangular, triangular-lingulate to lingulate, more than 0.8 mm, appressed, apex obtuse to broadly obtuse, erose to fimbriate; hyaline cells efibrillose and nonseptate. Branches straight and often tapering, often 5-ranked, leaves not much elongate at distal end of branches. Branch fascicles with 2 spreading and 2 pendent branches. Branch stems green, cortex enlarged with conspicuous retort cells. Branch leaves ovate-lanceolate, 1.4-2 mm, straight; slightly undulate and sharply recurved; margins entire; hyaline cells on convex surface with 1 pore per cell at cell apex, concave surface with round wall thinnings in the cell ends and angles; chlorophyllous cells triangular in transverse section and well-enclosed on concave surface. Sexual condition dioicous. Spores 22-28 -m; papillose on both surfaces; proximal laesura more than 0.5 spore radius.Capsules mature late summer to early fall. Forming carpets in a variety of very poor to poor fen habitats, including sedge fens, pocosins, bay swamps; low to moderate elevations; Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Miss., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., W.Va.; South America.