Plants loosely cespitose. Culms 30-100 cm. Leaves: sheaths papillose, summits U-shaped; distal ligules 3.5-5 mm; blades 4-5 per fertile culm, green, without auricles, 17-37 cm × 2-5 mm, pliable. Inflorescences arching or nodding from proximal spike, open at least proximally, silvery greenish yellow, 2.5-6.5 cm × 7-17 mm; proximal internode 7-18 mm; 2d internode 3-10 mm; often aristate or long-aristate; proximal bracts scalelike. Spikes (3-)7-15, widely spaced except the distal densely aggregated, proximal 1 often stalked, nearly globose or ovoid, 6-17 × 4.5-7 mm, base clavate or attenuate, apex rounded. Pistillate scales silvery pale green with pale or green midstripe, lance-subulate, (3.2-)3.5-4.1(-4.6) mm, shorter and narrower than or equaling perigynia, margin white-hyaline, to 0.6 mm wide, apex acute. Perigynia ascending to spreading, uniformly pale green to straw colored, conspicuously, evenly (4-)5-8(-10)-veined on each face, ovate to obovate, plano-convex, 3-4.5 × 1.9-2.3 mm, 0.6 mm thick, usually widest at 2/5-1/2 total length, margin flat, including wing 0.2-0.6 mm wide, finely granular-papillose; beak whitish at tip, flat, ciliate-serrulate to within 0.3 mm of tip, abaxial suture inconspicuous, distance from beak tip to achene 1.2-2 mm. Achenes oblong-ovate, 1.5-1.75 × 1-1.2 mm, 1.4-1.6 times as long as wide, 0.5 mm thick. 2n = 80.
Fruiting mid summer. Dry clearings, open woods, on acidic, rocky, or sandy substrates, rock outcrops; 0-700+ m; N.B., N.S., Ont., Que.; Conn., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va.
Much like no. 64 [Carex foenea Willd.], but the perigynia uniformly silvery- green, finely granular-papillose, 3.1-4.2 נ1.2-2.2 mm, strongly and evenly (4)5-8(-10)-nerved on both faces, usually widest at 2/5 to 1/2 of their total length, the wing-margins expanded above the middle of the body, more coarsely and irregularly serrulate or erose-ciliolate. Woods and clearings, often in dry, sandy or rocky soil; N.S. and N.B. to Va., w. to s. Que., s. Ont., O., and Mich. (C. foenea, misapplied)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.