Click on the image below to view an
expanded illustration for this species.
Perennial, tufted herb from fibrous roots; stems 15-60 cm tall, much exceeding the leaves.
Sheaths blunt; blades flat, 3-9 mm wide, the lower ones slightly reduced.
Spikes 3 to 6, crowded, erect, 1-3 cm long, the upper unstalked, the lower short-stalked, the terminal one with male flowers, unstalked or nearly so, 1-2 cm long, the lower 2 to 5 spikes of female flowers, sometimes with male flowers towards the tips; bracts subtending the lowest spike with sheaths 1-4.5 cm long and blades 1-8 cm long, the blades much shorter than the inflorescence.
Perigynia lanceolate or narrowly egg-shaped, 3-5 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide, smooth or often minutely rough, flattened, with 2 prominent nerves, the margins fringed with teeth near the tips, the beaks scarcely or shortly bidentate, about 1 mm long, 1/4 to 1/3 the length of the perigynia bodies; female scales egg-shaped, shorter than the perigynia, round at the tips, more or less fringed, purplish-black, the centres paler, the margins translucent; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, 1.4-1.7 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia