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Perennial, tufted herb from stout, elongate, matted, shredded rhizomes; stems 30-90 cm tall, erect or decumbent, as long as or longer than the leaves.
Sheaths long, concave to blunt; ligules short; blades 5 to 8 per stem, flat, scattered on the stem, 2.5-4 mm wide, the lower ones reduced.
Spikes 3 to 7, the terminal 1 to 3 linear, 1-2 cm long, with male flowers, the lower 2 to 4 spikes cylindrical, 1-3.5 cm long, with female flowers, the spikes remote and long-stalked, spreading to nodding; bracts subtending the female spikes short-sheathing, leaflike, 1.5-2.5 cm long, shorter to longer than the subtended spikes.
Perigynia nearly globe-shaped, 5-6 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, greenish to straw-coloured, smooth, shiny, 2-ribbed near the margins and with a few obscured nerves, spreading, short-stalked, the beaks deeply bidentate, slender, as long as or longer than the body; female scales lanceolate to narrowly egg-shaped, narrower than the perigynia, the centres green and 3-nerved, the tips pointed to more usually awned; stigmas 3; achenes 3-angled, 1.8-2.5 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia