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Perennial or annual, sweet-scented herb from long, slender, scaly rhizomes, terminating in small tubers up to 15 mm wide; stems solitary, stout, sharply triangular, 10-70 cm tall.
Clustered at the bases; blades elongate, mostly 3-8 mm wide, shorter than to exceeding the stem.
Inflorescence of dense, more or less elongate, head-like clusters with more or less elongate stalks, the terminal clusters unstalked, the others borne singly or in small groups at the ends of rays up to 7 cm long, each cluster with 5 to 16 spikes, the spikes 0.5-5 cm long, the spikelets 6- to 22-flowered, 1-2.5 cm long, linear to egg-shaped, ascending to spreading; stamens 3; involucral bracts 2 to 9, elongate, unequal, sometimes a little wider than the leaves, usually several surpassing the inflorescence.
Scales several-nerved, the lowest ones shorter, broad, much overlapping laterally, but not closely set, mostly (2) 2.5-3 (4) mm long, the tips surpassing the ones below them by 1.1-1.7 mm, not recurved; rachillas broadly and translucently winged, persistent, the scales falling from them at maturity; achenes unequally 3-angled, 1.3-2 mm long.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia