Plants densely cespitose. Culms lateral, lax, drooping, or decumbent, 34-62 cm × 1-1.2 mm. Leaves: basal sheaths purple, sheaths 15-29 mm; blades erect or ascending, green, midrib and 2 lateral veins strongly developed, 14-48 cm × 4-18 mm, older ones shriveling or dead at tips. Inflorescences: spikes (2-)3-(-4) per culm, scattered; peduncle of pistillate spike usually erect or spreading, rarely drooping, exserted 0-11.5 cm; bracts sheaths green, occasionally with purple traces, from middle and proximal portions of culms with blades 2.1-9.2 cm × 1-4 mm. Pistillate spikes proximal sometimes basal, 7-18 × 4-7 mm. Staminate spike 1, pedunculate, oblanceolate to linear, 8-20 × 2-3.5 mm. Pistillate scales keeled, 3.5-4.2 × 1.8-2.2 mm, midribs green, margins hyaline, occasionally purple tinged outward, apex cuspidate to acute. Staminate scales 4-6 × 1.8-2.2 mm, midribs green, margins hyaline, purple outward, apex obtuse. Anthers 3.4-3.7 mm. Perigynia 4-9 per spike, overlapping, finely veined, ovoid, 5-6.6 × 2.5-3 mm; beak tapering. Achenes broadly ovoid, 4.5-6 × 2.4-2.8 mm, slightly to distinctly concave at maturity, tightly fitting in perigynia. Style ascending through entire orifice. 2n = 68. Fruiting spring. Rich, moist deciduous or deciduous-evergreen forests, on slopes, often around limestone escarpments and adjacent rocky woods, washes, sinks, or cave entrances; 100-600 m; Ont.; Ala., Ark., D.C., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Mich., Minn., Mo., N.Y., Ohio, Pa., Tenn., Va., W.Va.
Tufted, 3-6 dm; fertile stems triangular, roughened on the angles, purple at base; basal sheaths purple; lvs smooth, those of the sterile shoots 10-25 mm wide, of the fertile ones only 2-6 mm wide; terminal spike staminate, 1-2 cm, purplish, pedunculate; pistillate spikes 2 or 3, 0.7-2 cm, scattered, the lowest sometimes basal; pistillate scales acute to cuspidate; perigynia 4-7, overlapping, 5-6.5 mm, finely many-nerved as well as 2-ribbed, sharply trigonous, elliptic-ovate in outline, tapering to a slightly oblique beak with entire orifice; achene sharply trigonous; 2n=68. Rich woods, often calciphile; N.Y. to s. Ont., Mich. and Io., s. to Va., Ala., and Mo.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
©The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Frequent but local in moist rich woods, particularly in ravines.
Citation: The vPlants Project. vPlants: A Virtual Herbarium of the Chicago Region. http://www.vplants.org
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