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Annual, tufted herb; stems numerous, slender, 3-20 (35) cm tall.
One to few near the bases, variously developed in different plants, sometimes with normal sheaths and blades; blades elongate, slender, up to as long as the stem, sometimes the lower ones reduced to scales, the uppermost ones with sheaths and very short blades.
Spikes solitary, appearing terminal or subterminal, often set at an angle to the stems, several- to many-flowered, 2-5.5 mm long; involucral bracts solitary, conspicuous, appearing merely as enlarged scales with broad, blunt awn tips, about 1 mm long or leaf like and up to about 1 cm long, nearly equal to or surpassing the spikes.
Scales numerous, often reddish-tinged, obscurely to evidently nerved with fine parallel lines mostly 1.2-2 mm long, the midribs tending to be enlarged, greenish or pale, often very shortly exserted as minute tips; perianth bristles lacking, but the filaments sometimes persisting and appearing like slender, flattened bristles; achenes broad, 3-angled, pale reddish-brown, dull, smooth, 1 mm long or less, with more or less abruptly, sharp-pointed tips.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia