E. acicularis: plant small, slender, tufted, the fine subulate stems scarcely two inches high, with short sheaths at their base, most of them bearing a single terminal oblong spikelet, of a dark brown colour, the outer bract similar to the glumes; flowers usually 6-8 in the spikelet. - Wet sandy places. Fl. July, August.
E. palustris: stems numerous, erect, densely tufted, 1/2-1 foot high, leafless; spikelets solitary and terminal, oblong; glumes numerous, closely imbricated, brown, with scarious edges, green on the midrib, the outer bract only differing from the glumes in being rather larger. - Edges of pools and watery ditches. Fl. June.
E. multicaulis is very much like this, but smaller, the stems more slender, many of them barren and leaf-like, and the spikelets rather smaller. - Marshy places.