Plants cespitose, short-rhizomatous. Culms 30-80 cm. Leaves 3.9-8.7 mm wide, glabrous. Spikes (1-)2-4(-6), erect; lateral spikes usually pistillate; terminal spike gynecandrous; staminate portion 4-11 × 1-3.5 mm; pistillate portion oblong to elliptic, 10-43 × 10-16 mm. Pistillate scales 2.3-5.5 × 1.2-1.7 mm, apex acute, sharp or blunt, hidden by perigynia. Staminate scales 4.2-5.8 × 1.4-2 mm, apex acute, sharp or blunt. Perigynia appressed-ascending, the proximal not reflexed, 5.5-7.8 × 2-3 mm, smooth; beak 2.3-2.9 mm, often sparingly scabrous. Achenes sides often concave, 2-2.6 × 1.4-1.7 mm, 1.2-1.9 times as long as wide; style deciduous, straight.
Much like no. 211 [Carex squarrosa L.]; stems usually surpassed by the upper lvs; main lvs 5-10 mm wide; spikes 1-6, the uppermost one mostly pistillate and with a short staminate part at base, the pistillate part cylindric or ovoid-cylindric, 2-4 נ1-1.5 cm, subtended by a short narrow bract; lateral spikes pistillate, smaller, erect or spreading on short peduncles; staminate scales obtuse; pistillate scales usually concealed, obtuse to acute, not awned; achene wider, half to three-fifths as wide as long, the style straight or slightly curved near the top of the perigynium. Moist or wet woods and marshes; Me. and Que. to Wis. and se. Minn., s. to Ga. and La.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
Fairly common in the southern counties, infrequent in northern Indiana, and not known from the central portion of the state. Its favorite habitat is low flat woods, especially pin oak, but it is also found on borders of ponds and in marshes, swamps, and roadside ditches. Specimens to confirm Wilson's reports from Hamilton and Tippecanoe Counties could not be found.