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Perennial, tufted herb from fibrous roots; stems 40-120 cm tall, exceeding the leaves.
Sheaths tight, green and strongly veined; blades flat, 2.5-4.5 mm wide, borne on the lower 1/3 of the stem.
Spikes 5 to 15, the lower ones reduced, aggregated into an ellipsoid, 2-8 cm long head, unstalked, with both female and male flowers, the female ones towards the tips; bracts subtending the spikes sheathless, reduced, inconspicuous, except the lowermost sometimes awnlike and 0.5-1 cm long.
Perigynia egg-shaped, 3-3.5 mm long, 1.75-2 mm wide, yellowish-green to brownish, more or less flattened, the margins winged nearly to the bases, the upper 1/2 fringed with teeth, several-nerved on the backs, almost nerveless below, the beaks obliquely cleft, less than 1 mm long, narrowly margined and toothed below; female scales narrowly elliptical, yellowish-green, with translucent margins, somewhat shorter and narrower than the perigynia; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, 1.1 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia