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Perennial herb from stout, creeping rhizomes; stems 20-90 cm tall, arising singly or a few together, longer than the leaves.
Sheaths green, the lower ones bladeless; blades 2 to 5 per stem, crowded toward the base, flat or nearly so, 1-2.5 mm wide.
Spikes 5 to 15, 0.5-1 cm long, clustered into an egg-shaped or nearly cylindrical, 1- to 3-cm long head, usually distinguishable, unstalked, with both female and male flowers (sometimes with nearly or all male flowers or nearly or all female flowers), the male flowers towards the tips; bracts of the spikes inconspicuous, up to 1.5 cm long, much like the female scales.
Perigynia broadly egg-shaped to elliptical, 1.7-2.5 mm long, 1.3-1.5 mm wide, appressed ascending, green to shiny-brown, strongly flattened, smooth, few-nerved below, short-stalked, the beaks entire, finely-toothed, 0.3-0.5 mm long; female scales egg-shaped, as long as and slightly wider than the perigynia, awn-tipped, brown, the midribs pale, the margins translucent; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, smooth, 1.2-1.5 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia