Ann. Lyceum Nat. Hist. New York 1: 67. 1824.
Plants loosely cespitose; rhizomes ascending to erect, reddish to reddish-brown, 0–10 (–20) mm, slender. Culms 5–40 cm, weakly scabrous distally; bases not fibrous. Leaf-blades green, equaling or exceeding culms, 0.7–1.5 mm wide, herbaceous, smooth to papillose abaxially, weakly scabrous adaxially. Inflorescences with both staminate and proximal spikes; peduncles of staminate spikes 1.9–5.9 mm; proximal nonbasal bracts leaflike, equaling or shorter than inflorescences. Spikes: proximal pistillate spikes 2–3 (basal spikes 0); cauline spikes remote, nonoverlapping, proximal 2 usually separated by more than 7 mm, with 3–10 perigynia; staminate spikes 4–15 × 0.7–1.3 mm. Scales: pistillate scales pale-brown to pale reddish-brown, ovate, 2–2.5 × 1–1.4 mm, shorter than to equaling perigynia, apex cuspidate to acuminate; staminate scales oblong to oblanceolate, 3.1–4.6 × 0.7–1.3 mm, apex long-acuminate to obtuse. Anthers 1.5–2.1 mm. Perigynia pale green, veinless, ellipsoid, 2.2–2.6 × 0.8–1 mm, longer than wide; beak 0.3–0.7 mm, straight, pale green, apical teeth 0.2–0.3 mm. Stigmas 3. Achenes dark-brown, obovoid to ellipsoid, acutely trigonous in cross-section, 1.4–1.7 × 0.7–0.9 mm.
Phenology: Fruiting early Jun–early Jul.
Habitat: Moist to mesic sites, in shade or partial shade under mixed deciduous forests, occasionally under spruce-hemlock canopies
Elevation: 100–1000 m
St. Pierre and Miquelon, N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.S., Ont., Que., Conn., Maine, Mass., Mich., N.H., N.Y., Pa., S.C., Vt., W.Va., Wis.
Recently discovered plants on the coastal plain in South Carolina resemble Carex novae-angliae in habit and perigynium features and have well-developed basal spikes. They require further study to determine their relationships with other members of the section.