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Perennial, tufted herb from fibrous roots; stems 20-70 cm tall, exceeding the leaves.
Sheaths tight; blades flat, 1.5-4 mm wide, borne on the lower 1/3 of the stem.
Spikes 3 to 8, aggregated into a 1- to 2-cm long head, unstalked, with both female and male flowers, the female ones towards the tips; bracts subtending the spikes sheathless, reduced, inconspicuous.
Perigynia egg-shaped, 3-3.5 mm long, 1.3-2 mm wide, deep green to yellowish-brown, flattened on the lower sides, bulging at the back, the margins narrowly winged nearly to the bases, the upper 1/2 fringed with teeth, several-nerved on the back, nerveless below, the beaks obliquely cut, 1-1.5 mm long, narrowly margined and toothed below; female scales triangular, reddish-brown, with narrow translucent margins and green midribs, somewhat shorter and narrower than the perigynia; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, 1.5 mm long, nearly filling the bodies of the perigynia.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia