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DescriptionThis native plant is a summer annual about 2-10" tall. Each plant produces a single culm or a tuft of culms. Each culm is green, hairless, round in cross-section (terete), and unbranched. The leaves are reduced to a single sheath at the base of the culm; there are no leaf blades. This sheath is brown and rough-textured; there is often a single tooth along its upper rim. The culm terminates in a small flowerhead up to ½" long and a little less across. This flowerhead is ovoid in shape and consists of many scales that are appressed together. These scales are whitish green to brown, oval to ovate, and slightly convex along the outer surface; their margins are often brown and papery. Behind each fertile scale, there is a single flower with a bipartite style. The blooming period occurs during the summer. Each flower produces a single achene about 1 mm. long and a little less across. This achene is more or less brown, obovate in shape, and slightly flattened along its length. At the apex of each achene, there is a flattened tubercle with a short slender beak that corresponds to the base of the style. This tubercle is nearly as broad as the achene. Each achene is usually surrounded by several fine bristles that originate from the achene's base; these bristles are about the same length as the achene (a 10x hand lens is useful in observing these bristles and other characteristics of the achene). The root system is fibrous. This plant spreads by reseeding itself and it often forms colonies.