This alliance includes vegetation of tall to short wetland graminoids or broad-leaved herbs occurring on wet, organic muddy sediments. They produce creeping stolons, rhizomes and adventitious roots, which ensure their stability in the unstable substrate, and also allow formation of carpet-like stands floating on the water surface. The vegetation types treated within this alliance occur in mesotrophic or dystrophic, rarely also eutrophic habitats, in an advanced stage of terrestrialization. They are typical of fishpond littoral zones, especially on peat accumulations, oxbows, alluvial pools, ditches and peatlands. These habitats have a relatively stable water level, without floods that bring in mineral sediment accumulation. The water table is usually up to 50 cm high though it can recede far enough to expose the bottom, but the substrate never dries up. Carici-Rumicion hydrolapathi is typical of the boreal zone of Eurasia and of oceanic north-western Europe, and has scattered occurrences in the temperate zone.