Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 22: 126. 1886.
Plants loosely cespitose; rhizomes horizontally spreading, brown to reddish-brown, 20–70 mm, slender. Culms 13–50 cm, scabrous distally; bases (remnants of old leaves) weakly to strongly fibrous. Leaf-blades green, 0.7–4.5 mm wide, herbaceous, smooth to scabrous abaxially, smooth to scabrous adaxially. Inflorescences with both staminate and pistillate spikes; peduncles of staminate spikes (0.8–) 2.5–20 mm; proximal cauline bracts leaflike, green or reddish-brown, shorter than inflorescences. Spikes: proximal pistillate spikes 1–3 (–4) (basal spikes 0, rarely 1); cauline spikes overlapping or somewhat separated, with (2–) 5–15 perigynia; staminate spikes 8–30 × 1.3–4.1 mm. Scales: pistillate scales pale-brown to dark reddish-brown or purplish brown, narrow white margins, elliptic to ovate, 2.6–5.4 × 1.2–2.6 mm, equaling perigynia, apex acute to acuminate or short-awned (rarely obtuse); staminate scales with white margins 0.4–0.8 mm wide, lanceolate to obovate, 3.6–6.7 × 1.2–1.7 mm apex obtuse to long-acuminate. Anthers (1.5–) 2–3.8 mm. Perigynia yellowish green to pale-brown or olive, veinless, obovoid, 2.8–4.6 × 1.5–2.2 mm, as long as wide; beak straight, pale green, occasionally with reddish tinge, 0.4–1.3 mm, weakly ciliate-serrulate, apical teeth 0.1–0.7 mm. Stigmas 3. Achenes dark-brown, obovoid to globose, obtusely trigonous in cross-section, (1.4–) 1.6–2.5 × 1.5–2.2 mm.
Alta., B.C., Man., Ont., Sask., Calif., Colo., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Mich., Minn., Mo., Mont., N.Dak., N.Mex., Nebr., Oreg., S.Dak., Wash., Wis., Wyo.
Subspecies 2 (2 in the flora).
|1||Proximal cauline pistillate spikes ovoid to short-cylindric, short-pedunculate; peduncles of staminate spikes (3–)4–20 mm; western British Columbia to northern California.||Carex inops subsp. inops|
|1||Proximal cauline pistillate spikes globose to ovoid, sessile; peduncles of staminate spikes 1.2–4.5 mm; east of the Rocky Mountains.||Carex inops subsp. heliophila|
No values specified.