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Perennial, tufted herb from short, blackish, fibrous roots; stems 5-35 cm tall, varying in length, densely clustered, usually shorter than the leaves, narrowly winged and roughened on the angles, enlarged below the spikes.
Sheaths tight, translucent below; blades 2 to 4 per stem, glaucous-green, with the margins rolled-under, minutely pimpled, borne on the lower 1/4 of the stem, 3-5 mm wide, the lower ones reduced.
Spikes 1 to 3, widely separated, from terminal to near basal, 10-15 mm long, with both male and female flowers, the male flowers towards the tips, few, unstalked, inconspicuous, about 2 mm long, the lower flowers female, 2 to 5, unstalked to short-stalked, erect; bracts subtending the female spikes leaflike, sheathless or short-sheathing, from shorter than to 6-10 times as long as the spikes, the upper bracts reduced.
Perigynia broadly egg-shaped, 4-5 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, green or greenish, inflated, smooth, nerveless, stalked, the beaks bidentate, conic, slightly fine-toothed, about 0.5-1 mm long; female scales greenish, leaflike, 0.5-2 cm long, 4-5 mm wide when f
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia