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Swamp barnyardgrass is a perennial grass with erect stems. This plant can grow as tall as 5 feet. Leaf blades are linear in shape with flat smooth surfaces. Blades may be 2 feet in length and ¾ inches wide. Leaf sheaths are hairy.
Inflorescences take the form of conspicuous, brown, bristled heads that are made up of many spikelets. Spikelets attach to a single side of inflorescence branches.
This plant grows in wet areas such as marshes and swamps and along the edges of bodies of water.