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Perennial, tufted herb from short, fibrous rhizomes, sometimes the rhizomes not evident; stems 15-40 cm tall, arising in loose clusters, roughened on the angles above, longer than the leaves.
Sheaths tight; blades 2 to 3 per stem, borne on the lower 1/4 of the stem, flat or channeled below, 0.5-2 mm wide, the lowermost reduced towards the bases of the stems.
Spikes 4 to 8, forming an elongated head 1-2 cm long, the lower ones noticeably remote, unstalked, with both female and male flowers, the inconspicuous male flowers towards the tips; bracts scalelike, much reduced, inconspicuous.
Perigynia elliptical to cylindrical, 3-3.7 mm long, 1.8-2.2 mm wide, with faint inconspicuous nerves, green, smooth, very short-stalked, the beaks 1 mm long, shallowly bidentate; female scales egg-shaped, equalling or slightly shorter than the perigynia, pointed or short-awned, greenish-translucent, the midribs greenish, the margins translucent; stigmas 2; achenes lens-shaped, smooth, 1.8-2.2 mm long, filling the bodies of the perigynia.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia