B. compressus: stems 6-8 inches high; leaves flat, keeled; spike terminal, about an inch long, consisting of 10-12 oblong 6-8 flowered spikelets, closely sessile on opposite sides of the axis, the broad, brown, glume-like outer bract shorter than the mature spikelet. - Bogs and marshes. Fl. June, July.
B. rufus: stems 1/2-1 foot high, stiff, slender, with few very narrow leaves near the base; spike terminal, consisting of about six sessile 2 - 4 flowered spikelets, dark, shining brown, almost black, nearly concealed by the outer bract, which is dark brown, and shining. - Marshy places. Fl. July.