Plants small. Rhizome erect and creeping, blackish brown, nodes and roots with long yellowish brown trichomes or glabrous. Aerial stems perennial, monomorphic, only branched at lower portion, tufted; main stem inconspicuous, 7- or more ridged; aerial stems irregularly undulate, 10-20 cm tall, ca. 0.6 mm in diam. at middle, solid and without longitudinal canals in center, green, but internodes of lower 1 or 2 nodes castaneous, lustrous; internodes 2-2.8 cm; branch 6-ridged; each ridge with 1 shallow longitudinal groove at middle and 2 edges on sides, each edge with 1 row of tooth-shaped protuberances; sheath blackish brown or upper portion blackish brown, lower portion green; sheath teeth 3(-5), broadly lanceolate, apex long aristate, teeth of middle portion blackish brown, margin light brown, membranous, persistent. Strobilus terete, small, ca. 5 × 1.5 mm, apex with acute tip, sessile. 2n = 216.
Aerial stems persisting more than a year, unbranched, tortuous, 2.5--28 cm; lines of stomates single; ridges 6. Sheaths green proximally, black distally, elliptic in face view, 1--2.5 × 0.75--1.5 mm; teeth 3, dark with white margins, not articulate to sheath. Cone apex pointed; spores green, spheric. 2 n =216.
"Stems all alike, evergreen, prostrate or ascending, often bent or contorted, 0.7–2.5 dm, 0.5–1 mm thick, unbranched or with a few long branches, with 3 primary ridges, the ridges tuberculate, broadly and deeply concave, so that the stem appears 6-ridged; central cavity none, vallecular cavities 3, large; stomates in 2 rows in each principal furrow; sheaths 3–4 mm, flaring, with a broad black band above a usually green base, the 3 scarious-margined teeth each with a subulate, often deciduous tip; cones small, 3–5 mm, subsessile, apiculate. Moist, often swampy places, especially in coniferous woods; circumboreal, in Amer. s. to Conn., N.Y., s. Ill., Io., S.D., and Wash."
|Dwarf scouring rush, prêle faux-scirpe|