Mem. Torrey Bot. Club 1: 21. 1889.
Plants densely cespitose. Culms 50–85 cm. Leaves: sheaths often green-veined, white-hyaline at least 10 mm below summit, ± firm, summits U-shaped or rounded, prolonged to 4 mm beyond collar; distal ligules 1–4 mm; blades 3–6 per fertile culm, flat or folded, 14–50 cm × (2.3–) 3–5 mm. Inflorescences usually dense, greenish or gold, usually oblong, 1.9–5 cm × 12–19 mm; proximal internode 2.5–5 (–7) mm; 2d internode 2–5.5 mm; proximal bracts scalelike or bristlelike, shorter than inflorescences. Spikes 5–14, aggregated or proximal 1 more distant, narrowly to broadly ovoid, 9–18 × 6–9 (–11) mm, base rounded to attenuate, apex truncate to tapered. Pistillate scales green to gold or redbrown, with pale midstripe, lanceolate to ovate, (3.9–) 4.3–5.2 mm, shorter than or ± equaling and narrower than perigynia, margin white, 0–0.5 mm wide, apex acute to acuminate. Perigynia appressed to ascending, green to straw colored, conspicuously usually 10–18-veined abaxially, conspicuously 4–10-veined adaxially, at least 3 adaxial veins longer than achene, lanceolate to ovate, planoconvex, 4.9–6.3 (–7) × 1.5–1.8 (–2) mm, 0.5–0.7 mm thick, margin flat, including wing 0.25–0.4 mm wide, ciliate-serrulate at least on distal body; beak gold to redbrown at tip, flat, ± ciliate-serrulate, abaxial suture inconspicuous, distance from beak tip to achene 2.7–4.2 mm. Achenes elliptic to obovate, 1.6–2 (–2.3) × 1–1.5 mm, 0.4–0.5 (–0.6) mm thick.
Phenology: Fruiting summer.
Habitat: Dry soils in meadows, open forests
Elevation: 1200–3500 m
Perigynia of Carex specifica are sometimes narrowly lanceolate, resembling those of C. petasata in shape, but perigynia of C. specifica are consistently smaller and have smaller achenes.
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