Schoenoplectus pungens var. pungens is a C3 perennial rush (Bryson and Carter 1977) 15 cm to 1.5 m tall, colonial from rhizomes; stems 3-sided sides slightly convex to slightly concave.
Leaves all near base, 0.2-0.4 cm wide, blade elongate or sometimes reduced; inflorescence bract erect, 2-15 cm, appearing as a continuation of stem.
Flower spikelets 1-6, stalkless, in a dense cluster, brown, appearing to arise from side of stem, 1-2 smaller scale-like bracts at base of inflorescence, appearing as empty scales, (apparently very similar to S. americanus but smaller and more slender); blooming and fruiting May-Aug.
Wetland status: FACW+.
Frequency in NYC: Infrequent.
Habitat: Wet open areas, ditches, soil pH 3.7-7.5, Moderately tolerant of salt, fire, intolerant of shade (USDA, NRCS 2010).