Plants cespitose, not rhizomatous. Culms 14-50 cm, terete, smooth distally. Leaves involute, 0.8-1.5 mm wide, usually shorter than culms. Spike with staminate portion separated from pistillate portion by short internode or sessile, 8-25 × 1.4-2.2 mm. Pistillate scales pale brown to green, proximal ones bractlike and long-awned. Staminate scales pale brown, apex obtuse. Anthers 1.2-5.2 mm. Perigynia (1-)2-6(-8), pale green to pale brown, faintly several-veined, 4.7-7.2 × 2.3-3.1 mm. Fruiting mid May-late Jul. Dry slopes and seasonally wet seepage areas in chaparral and open pine forests; 100-2200 m; Calif., Oreg.