This section is from the book "A Manual Of Weeds", by Ada E. Georgia. Also available from Amazon: A Manual Of Weeds.
Native. Annual. Propagates by seeds. Time of bloom: August to October. Seed-time: September to November.
Range: New Brunswick to western Ontario and Minnesota, southward to the Carolinas and Kansas. Habitat: Wet grasslands and along streams, ponds, and ditches.
A meadow overgrown with Galingale is not of much value. This one is not an aggressive weed, merely coming in where the larger, more nutritious grasses have been drowned out. As forage it is nearly worthless. It is a small plant, varying from three inches to a foot in height, most commonly about six inches, with tufted stems or culms, very slender, three-sided, leafy at base, and deep green. Leaves hardly a tenth of an inch wide, smooth; at the summit of the stem are three slim, spreading, involucral leaves, or bracts, subtending the flower-heads; these are a cluster of thin, flattened spikelets, usually about a half-inch long and either sessile on the end of the stem or clustered on the tips of two or three short, unequal rays. Scales ovate, obtuse, one-nerved, green with purplish brown margins or sometimes all brown; stamens two and style two-parted, the cleft tip exserted far beyond the points of the scales. Seeds flattened, oblong lens-shape, dull gray.
Drain the land and put under intensive cultivation for a season in order to cause dormant seeds to germinate and be destroyed; reseed heavily with good grasses or clover.