Plants densely cespitose. Culms (30-)50-90 cm. Leaves: sheaths sometimes adaxially brownish tinged, summits rounded to acute, usually prolonged to 1-5 mm beyond collar; distal ligules 1.5-4.5 mm, often shorter than sheath summits; blades (3-)4-5(-7) per fertile culm, 20-45 cm × 3-5(-6.5) mm. Inflorescences open, usually dense distally, green, silvery, or pale gold, 4-6.5 cm × 10-18 mm; proximal internode (7-)10-20 mm; 2d internode 4-8.5 mm; proximal bracts leaflike or bristlelike, if leaflike then much longer than inflorescence, base usually surrounding culm. Spikes (6-)10-20, distant, distinct, obovoid, or sometimes lanceoloid to ovoid, (12-)14-17 × 5-8 mm, base usually attenuate, apex rounded or acute. Pistillate scales white-hyaline with conspicuous green midstripe, sometimes tinged pale gold, ovate, 3.5-5.5 mm, shorter and narrower than or ± equaling perigynia, base curved around perigynia, apex acute to awned. Perigynia appressed-ascending to ascending-spreading, whitish green to pale gold, conspicuously (6-)8-11-veined abaxially, conspicuously or, occasionally, faintly 4-8-veined adaxially, veins more than 2/3 achene length, at least 3 adaxial veins longer than achene, ovate, plano-convex, (3.5-)4-5.2 × 1.5-1.8 mm, 0.6-0.8 mm thick, margin flat, including wing 0.15-0.3(-0.4) mm wide, usually curved toward adaxial surface of perigynia, ciliate-serrulate at least distally; beak green, gold, or white at tip, flat, ± ciliate-serrulate, abaxial suture inconspicuous, distance from beak tip to achene (1.8-)2-3 mm. Achenes ovate, elliptic, oblong or obovate, 1.8-2 × 1.1-1.3 mm, 0.6-0.7 mm thick. Fruiting mid-late summer. Meadows, open forests, moist to dry soils; 1200-2100 m; Calif. Carex amplectens has characters of C. specifica and of C. fracta. It has been collected rarely across a few, scattered localities in the Cascade Mountains and the Sierra Nevada and is poorly understood.