Ann. Lyceum Nat. Hist. New York 1: 70. 1824.
Plants densely cespitose. Culms erect, ascending, or spreading, 9–48 cm × 0.6–1 mm. Leaves: basal sheaths white or very light brown; nonbasal sheaths 7–32 mm, sheath blades 0.9–11.9 cm × 1–7 mm; leaf blades erect, ascending, or spreading, green or glaucous, 8–36 cm × 3–12 mm; blades of vegetative shoots 0–3.5 times wider than bract blades. Inflorescences: spikes (3–)4(–5) per culm, scattered; peduncles of pistillate spikes exserted 0–9 cm; of staminate spikes exserted 0–9.5 cm; bracts 2–11.8 cm × 1.3–4.8 mm. Pistillate spikes: the proximal basal, scattered, drooping. Staminate spike 1, linear, 8–22 × 1.2–3 mm. Pistillate scales keeled, 2.5–3.2 × 1–1.5 mm, midribs green, margins hyaline or, occasionally, reddish brown outward, apex cuspidate to acute, awn to 1 mm, proximal scale of lateral spike sterile or subtending a staminate flower. Staminate scales obovate, 3.5–4.5 × 1–1.2 mm, midribs green, margins hyaline or reddish brown outward, apex acute. Anthers 2–3 mm. Perigynia 4–9 per spike, finely veined, elliptic-ovoid, 2.5–4 × 1.5–2 mm; beak slightly bent, tapering. Achenes obvoid to broadly ovoid, 2.2–3.2 × 1.2–1.8 mm, slightly concave at maturity, tightly fitting in perigynia. Style slender ascending through entire orifice. 2n = 44, 46.
Ont., Ala., Ark., Conn., D.C., Del., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Maine, Mass., Md., Mich., Mo., N.C., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Va., Vt., W.Va., Wis.
Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).