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Perennial, densely tufted herb from short fibrous roots; stems 5-15 cm tall, longer than the leaves.
Sheaths straw-coloured to purplish-brown; blades 3 to 8 per stem, flat, channelled above, borne on the lower 1/2 of the stem, 0.7-1 mm wide, the lower ones reduced.
Spikes 2 to 4, the terminal one unstalked, linear, 2-6 mm long, with male flowers, the lower spikes 1 to 3, not much separated, cylindrical, 2-5 mm long, with female flowers, unstalked or short-stalked, the stalks 1-2 mm long; bracts subtending the female spikes inconspicuous, scalelike, round-tipped or prolonged into awns up to 15 mm long, shorter than the inflorescence, the sheaths short, tubular, the upper bracts shorter.
Perigynia egg-shaped to lanceolate, 2-2.5 mm long, 0.8-1 mm wide, yellowish-green to straw-coloured, ascending to spreading, smooth, cylindrical, the beaks short, 0.3-0.5 mm long, translucent; female scales egg-shaped to elliptical, round-tipped to pointed, about as long as the perigynia, brownish, with greenish to straw-coloured midribs and translucent margins; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, pointed, 1.5-2 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia