Plants annual, cespitose, 10-35(-40) cm, glabrous; rhizomes absent. Leaves polystichous, mostly spreading to ascending; sheath margins entire; ligule present, complete; blades narrowly linear, to 1 mm wide, flat to shallowly involute, margins distantly scabrid, surface glabrous. Inflorescences: spikelets 1, terminal or 2-3 in simple anthela longer than broad, laterals subsessile; scapes narrowly linear, coarsely ribbed, distally compressed; involucral bracts usually 1 per spikelet, exceeding or exceeded by it. Spikelets yellowish, mostly turgidly ovoid, 5-8 mm; fertile scales broadly ovate, 2-3 mm, apex obtuse, entire, midrib excurrent or not. Flowers: stamens 3, styles 2-fid, flattened, fimbriate. Achenes near white to pale brown, lenticular-obovoid to obpyriform, 2 mm, appearing smooth under 10-20X magnification, under higher power finely longitudinally ribbed, with fine, isodiametric pits in vertical lines. 2n = 10. Fruiting summer-fall, all year in south. Moist sands or sandy peats of roadsides, ditches, flatwoods clearings, savanna, and particularly, disturbed low, open areas; 1-100 m; introduced; Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss.; tropical Asia; Africa. Fimbristylis schoenoides is an unusual Fimbristylis for us, with a smooth, 'eleocharis-like' appearance. The plants are mostly low and spreading-culmed, glabrous annuals of Asian origin.