Fl. Bor.-Amer. 1: 32. 1803.
Plants cespitose; rhizomes short, stout. Culms: fertile ones lax, reclining, inflorescences lopping over to (or nearly to) ground; nodes sometimes with axillary bulblets. Leaves 4–9 per culm; sheaths of proximal leaves whitish; proximal sheaths and blades with septa few, inconspicuous; blades 18–32 cm × 6–13 mm. Inflorescences terminal and axillary in 2–3 distal leaves; rays ascending or divergent, rays and pedicels scabrous or scabrellous throughout or sometimes only in distal 1/2, rays often bearing axillary bulblets; bases of involucral bracts green, not glutinous. Spikelets in open cymes, central spikelet of each cyme sessile, others long-pedicellate, spikelets ovoid, narrowly ovoid, or narrowly ellipsoid, 4–7(–10) × 2–3 mm; scales brown to red-brown with green midribs, ovate to narrowly elliptic, 1.8–2.5 mm, apex mucronate, mucro 0.1–0.3 mm. Flowers: perianth bristles persistent, 6, slender, much longer than achene, strongly contorted and not or scarcely projecting beyond it, smooth, enclosed within scales or scarcely projecting beyond them; styles 3-fid. Achenes pale brown, elliptic in outline, plano-convex or plumply trigonous, 1.1–1.5 × 0.6–0.7 mm. 2n = 36.
Phenology: Fruiting late spring–early summer (May–Jun).
Habitat: Usually along wooded streams, often associated with calcareous substrates
Elevation: 0–100 m
Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C., S.C., Va.
Authors prior to 1966 incorrectly applied the name Scirpus lineatus to plants of S. pendulus and treated plants of S. lineatus as S. fontinalis (A. E. Schuyler 1966).