Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 37: 244. 1910.
Plants loosely or densely cespitose. Culms erect or ascending, 7–30 cm × 0.2–0.5 mm; vegetative shoots taller than culms, (1.4–)1.7–3.7(–4.9) times as tall as tallest flowering culm, blades of vegetative shoots 1–3.5 times wider than bract blades Leaves: basal sheaths white to light-brown; nonbasal sheaths 1–4 mm; blades erect, drooping or recurved, dark green to grayish blue-green, 11–38 cm × 3–9 mm, usually exceeding culms. Inflorescences: spikes (3–) 4 per culm, scattered; peduncles of proximal pistillate spikes erect, 3–15 mm; bracts dark green to glaucous, 1–10.5 cm × 1.5–4 mm, well developed, blade of distal lateral spike 5.6–17 (–26) times as long as wide. Pistillate spikes: proximal usually basal, proximal spikes on usually erect peduncles, distal sessile to very short-pedunculate, 6–12 × 3.5–6 mm, often hidden in foliage. Staminate spike sessile or nearly so, (3.5–) 4.5–10.2 (–11.5) × 0.6–1.4 (–1.6) mm, often hidden by distal bract and/or pistillate spikes. Pistillate scales 1.5–2 × 0.8–1 mm, midribs green, margins hyaline, apex acute, proximal scales of lateral spikes subtending perigynia. Staminate scales 2.6–3.6 (–3.8) × 0.8–1 mm, midribs green, margins hyaline, apex obtuse. Anthers 1.2–1.8 mm. Perigynia (3–) 8–13 per spike, spirally overlapping, finely veined, obovoid, 2.8–4.2 × 1.4–2 mm; beak tapering. Achenes ellipsoid, 2.6–4 × 1.2–1.8 mm, sides flat at maturity, filling perigynia. Style short, tapering from swelling just beyond attachment to achene, bent, ascending through entire orifice.
Phenology: Fruiting summer.
Habitat: Rich, moist, wet slopes or bottomlands, deciduous or mixed deciduous-evergreen forests, on or just above flood plain of streams and rivers
Elevation: 0–600 m
Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Miss., Mo., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va.