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.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Frequent but local in moist rich woods, particularly in ravines.
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.
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Citation: The vPlants Project. vPlants: A Virtual Herbarium of the Chicago Region. http://www.vplants.org
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