Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 21: 29. 1894.
Rhizomes 2–5 mm thick; internodes 2–5 cm. Culms 2–14, erect, unbranched, jointed, aphyllopodic, terete, 20–100 cm × 2–5 mm; internodes hollow. Leaves: sheaths 2–14, bladeless, green, often with white dots in intervenal areas, with brown-hyaline 1–2 mm margin at mouth, firm; blades 3–15 per culm, 3-ranked, ascending, thick, 4–15 cm × 1–8 mm, ± leathery, glabrous; distal 5–20 leaves serving as bracts. Inflorescences 6–30 cm; spikes 1–17, in sheath axils, 2–5 cm. Spikelets 2-ranked, appressed-ascending to ascending-spreading, linear-lanceolate, flat, 1.5–3 cm × 1.2–2.5 mm; rachilla winged, wings hyaline, usually containing spongy tissue proximally, occasionally ciliate; scales decurrent, spongy-based, 5–9.5 × 1.4–2.4 mm, each subtending flower. Flowers 2-ranked, sessile; scales green with gold-hyaline margins; perianth bristles 6–9, 4–7.5 mm, stiff; stamens 3, longer than perianth bristles; pistils 1, 2-carpellate; styles 1, 3.8–6 mm, base persistent on achene; stigmas 2, 1–3.8 mm. Achene stipitate, 2–4 × 0.8–1.1 mm (excluding style base), shorter than perianth bristles.
B.C., Man., N.B., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Ala., Ark., Calif., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., La., Maine, Mass., Md., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., N.C., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Nebr., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., Vt., W.Va., Wash., Wis., Wyo.
Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).