Plants with loose, branching system of slender, pale brown rhizomes. Culms very slender, nodding, 15-60 cm, exceeding leaves, scabrid. Leaves: basal sheaths pale brown abaxially, inner band white-hyaline, truncate at summit; ligules broader than long; blades mid to dark green, flat, 15-30 × 0.75-1.5 mm, scabrid. Inflorescences 1.5-2.5 cm × 3-5 mm; proximal bract 5-20 mm; distal bracts scalelike. Spikes 2-4(-5), proximal separate, distal aggregate, globose, 3-5 × 2-4 mm. Pistillate scales white-hyaline with green center, ovate, narrower and shorter than perigynia, apex acuminate. Perigynia 1-6, pale green, often brown or even purplish in age, plump, 2.25-3 × 1.3-1.5 mm, membranous, shiny. Achenes red-brown, oblong-elliptic, 1.5-1.75 × 1 mm, glossy. 2n = 70. Fruiting May-Aug. Swamps, bogs, wet meadows, mossy and shady coniferous woods; 0-3500 m; Greenland; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Yukon; Alaska, Calif., Colo., Conn., Idaho, Ind., Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., Mont., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.Dak., Ohio, Oreg., Pa., S.Dak., Utah, Vt., Wash., Wis., Wyo.; Eurasia.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Frequent in the northern counties in sphagnum in tamarack bogs and on mucky borders of lakes. Reported from Putnam County by Coulter but no specimen from that county could be found.
Indiana Coefficient of Conservatism: C = 10
Wetland Indicator Status: OBL
Soft, slender, the stems 1-4 dm, scattered on slender, branching rhizomes; lvs flat, 1-2 mm wide; spikes 2-5, sessile, separate or the upper approximate, 3-6 mm, with 1- (-6) perigynia and 1-3 terminal staminate fls; bract obsolete, or filiform and to 2 cm; scales triangular-ovate, stramineous to white-hyaline except the green midrib, equaling or more often shorter than the perigynia; perigynia ellipsoid, 2-3 mm, densely white-punctate, nearly round in cross-section, the margins appearing merely as 2 stronger nerves, the minute beak 0.2 mm; achene thick-lenticular, filling the perigynium, its style-base semipersistent as a slender apiculus; 2n=70. Bogs and wet woods, usually in shade; circumboreal, s. to Pa., Ind., Minn., Utah, and Calif.
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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