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Genus of this Family


Rushlike or grasslike, of marshes, or of aquatic, perennial or annual herbs, (or rarely shrubs), often with hairy roots, rhizomes erect or horizontal, stems short, often leafy at the base. Leaves mostly in a basal tuft, linear or filiform, sheathing at the base, or entirely reduced to a sheath, sheath open or closed, flat or terete, sometimes ciliate at the top. Inflorescence a panicle, corymb, or head, or the flowers solitary. Flowers bisexual or unisexual and dioecious, regular, trimerous. Perianth segments 6, in two whorls, or rarely only 3, glumaceous or coriaceous, rarely scarious, greenish or reddish-brown to black. Stamens 6 or 3, adnate to the perianth lobes or hypogynous, anthers 2-celled, basifixed,  introrse, dehiscing by vertical slits, pollen in triads. Carpels 3, 4, or 6, free or partly connate, each with 1 ovule, ovary superior, unilocular with 3 parietal placentae, or trilocular with axile placentation or incompletely septate, styles long to almost nothing, or styles 3, stigmas 3. Fruit a small, loculicidal capsule, 1-3  locular. Seeds small, often tailed, with  minute, straight embryo enclosed by fleshy endosperm.