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Perennial, tufted herb from short rhizomes; stems 20-80 cm tall, hairy, shorter than the leaves.
Sheaths tight, hairy; ligules longer than wide; blades 2 or 3 per stem, soft-hairy, borne on the lower 1/3 of the stem, 2-3 mm wide, the lower ones reduced.
Spikes 3 to 5, the terminal one linear, 8-15 mm long, with male flowers, rarely with female flowers above and male flowers below, the lower spikes 2 to 4, elliptical to cylindrical, 5-20 mm long, 1-2.5 mm wide, with female flowers, the upper nearly unstalked and approximate, the lower short-stalked and remote, erect to spreading; bracts subtending the female spikes leaflike, sheathless, longer than the inflorescence.
Perigynia elliptical to cylindrical, 2.1-3 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide, yellowish-green, smooth, obscurely many-nerved, nearly round, beakless; female scales egg-shaped, pointed to short-awned, about equalling the perigynia, pale green; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, 1.4-1.8 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia