Plants with basal sheaths of previous year persistent as linear fibers. Culms to 80 cm × 4 mm, scabrous. Leaves: sheaths all with blades, fronts smooth, red spotted, indistinctly linearly veined, apex hyaline, colorless, fragile, convex, entire; ligules rounded, 5 mm, free limb to 0.5 mm; blades dark green, not epistomic, to 60 cm × 7 mm. Inflorescences densely spicate, elongated, cylindric, with 8-12 branches, 2-4 × 1.5 cm; proximal internode to 0.5 mm; proximal bracts setaceous, apparent. Scales coppery with hyaline margins. Perigynia pale brown, coppery distally, faintly 3-5-veined or veinless abaxially, veinless adaxially, to 4 × 1.7 mm, base not distended proximally, rounded; stipe to 0.2 mm; beak to 2 mm, serrulate. Achenes circular, 1.5 × 1.3 mm; stalk to 0.15 mm; persistent style base cylindric. 2n = 68.
Stems clustered, 4-8 dm, stout but soft, 2-3 mm wide when pressed, usually shorter than the lvs; main lvs 3-6 mm wide; sheaths somewhat prolonged beyond the base of the blade, not cross-corrugated; infl 2-4 cm, slender, simple or compound, the lower spikes sometimes slightly separated; scales triangular-ovate, usually shorter than the perigynia; perigynia becoming largely or wholly golden-brown, flatly planoconvex, ovate, 3.2-3.8 mm, half as wide, rounded at base, inconspicuously 2-3-nerved dorsally, nerveless ventrally, tapering into a rough beak two-thirds to nearly as long as the body. Wet meadows; Que. and Me. to Mich., Minn. and Sask., s. to N.J., Ind., and Mo.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
Known in Indiana from a single collection: Deam no. 41282, in a low place in white oak woods 3 miles south of Yorktown, Delaware County. No specimens could be found to confirm the reports by Peattie and by Pepoon from Lake County, by Pepoon from Porter County, and by Phinney from Jay, Randolph, and Wayne Counties.