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Perennial, somewhat tufted herb from compact rhizomes; stems bluish-green, 15-40 cm tall, longer than the leaves.
Sheaths tight; blades numerous, borne on the lower part of the stems, bluish-green, 1.5-3 mm wide, flat or channeled.
Spikes 5 to 9 in a 1- to 3-cm long, dense head, occasionally with a few spikes separate below, the top spike larger than the lower ones, egg-shaped, many-flowered, 2-4 mm long, ascending, with both female and male flowers, the female flowers towards the tips, the male flowers inconspicuous, the lower spikes mostly female; lowermost bract awnlike, about 0.5-1 cm long or lacking.
Perigynia egg-shaped, 2-2.5 mm long, 0.8-1 mm wide, bluish-green, dark-green or brownish, minutely whitish-dotted, biconvex, smooth, obscurely nerved, especially above, unstalked, the beaks 0.25 mm long, smooth, not cleft; female scales egg-shaped, covering about 1/2 of the perigynia, pointed, green, with green midribs; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, 1-1.7 mm long, filling the perigynia.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia