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Perennial, tufted herb from fibrous roots; stems 5-50 cm tall, decumbent, barely exceeding the leaves, often nodding.
Sheaths tight; blades flat, 1.5-4 mm wide, borne on the lower 1/3 of the stem.
Spikes 5 to 15, aggregated into a 1- to 3-cm long ellipsoid head, unstalked, with both female and male flowers, the female ones towards the tips; bracts subtending the spikes sheathless, the lowermost much-prolonged, 2-15 cm long, the others slightly shorter.
Perigynia narrowly lanceolate, 4.5-6 mm long, 0.9-1.2 mm wide, light green to straw-coloured or brownish, more or less flattened, the margins very narrowly winged nearly to the bases and the upper 1/2 fringed with teeth, lightly several-nerved on both sides or nerveless below, the beaks bidentate, 2.5-4 mm long, narrowly margined and toothed below; female scales lanceolate, brownish, with green centres and translucent margins, somewhat shorter and narrower than the perigynia, short-awned; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, 1.1-1.3 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia