Rhodora 16: 214. 1914.
Culms densely tufted, ascending, lax or, occasionally, decumbent, 12–44 cm × 0.7–1.2 mm. Leaves: basal sheaths brown; sheaths 3–24 mm, serrulate; blades ascending, midrib well developed abaxially, lateral veins developed, flat, 10–32 cm × 3–10 mm, blades of overwintering leaves smooth. Inflorescences: peduncles of proximal spike 0–8 cm, distal lateral spike not exserted; of terminal spike to 0.2 cm. Bracts 10–30 × 2–7 mm, 2d pistillate bract frequently overtops terminal and distal lateral spike, blade of distal lateral spike linear, narrower than spikes, widest bract blade of distalmost lateral spike 0.5–3.4 mm wide. Spikes 4(–5) per culm; lateral spikes 9–22 × 2.8–4 mm; terminal spike linear, 7–16 × 1.2–2 mm, arising from same bract as distal lateral spike, usually surpassed by distal bract. Pistillate scales 2–2.5 × 1–1.8 mm, apex acute or apiculate. Staminate scales ovate, 2.2–2.6 × 0.8–1 mm, margins hyaline or slightly brown tinged, apex acute. Anthers 1.6–2 mm. Perigynia 5–14 per spike, overlapping or slightly scattered on proximal spike, ascending or spreading, 8–18-veined, 2–3 veins conspicuous, others obscure, elliptic-obovate, 2.2–3.2 × 1–1.5 mm, membranous; beak abruptly to slightly curved, 0.3–1.1 mm. Achenes obovoid, 1.8–2.8 × 0.8–1.2 mm. 2n = 36.
Phenology: Fruiting spring–summer.
Habitat: Moist to wet deciduous, evergreen, or mixed deciduous-evergreen forests, higher elevations southward
Elevation: 0–1800 m
N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Conn., Del., Ind., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.