A glabrous rhizomatous perennial. Rhizome horizontal, sympodial, covered with persistent fibrous remains of older leaves. Adventitious roots inserted just below the node. Aerial stem erect, to ca. 35 cm. Leaves basal and cauline, alternate, distichous, linear, compressed-terete, several-veined, with sheathing base, the apex obtuse with a distinct pore; sheath open, marginally hyaline, fibrous remains often persisting, with 2 delicate, obtuse auricles; infravaginal hairs numerous. Inflorescence a simple bracteate raceme with a terminal flower. Flowers perfect, hypogynous, trimerous and pentacyclic. Tepals distinct, all similar, lanceolate-elliptic. Stamens distinct; anthers bithecate, 4-sporangiate, extrorse, dehiscing by longitudinal slits, with short connective tip. Carpels 3(-6), only basally connate, with decurrent, ventral, sessile, dry stigmas. Ovules (1-)2 per locule, basal-axile, erect, anatropous. Fruits adaxially dehiscing follicles. Seeds 1(-2), oblong, exalbuminous.
Only one species, Scheuchzeria palustris L., from the arctic and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
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