Fl. Bor.-Amer. 2: 173. 1803.
Culms densely tufted, central or lateral, ascending or slightly decumbent, 45–62 cm × 0.5–1 mm. Leaves: basal sheaths tan or light-brown; sheaths green, sometimes glaucous, 4–88 mm; blades green, sometimes glaucous, midrib and 2 lateral-veins developed, flat or slightly corrugate, 30–46 cm × 3–14 mm, blades of overwintering leaves smooth or, rarely, sparsely papillose abaxially. Inflorescences: peduncles of proximal spikes 0–5 cm, arising from proximal 1/3 of culms, 1.4–3.3 (–5.3) times as long as spikes they subtend; of terminal spikes 0.4–12 cm. Bracts 0.6–14 cm × 0.8–6 mm, bract blades of distal lateral spikes linear, narrower than spikes, widest bract blade of distalmost lateral spike 0.5–3.4 mm wide. Spikes 3 (–4) per culm; lateral spikes 22–62 × 3–5 mm; distal lateral spikes separate; terminal spike linear to linear-clavate, 22–32 (–36) × 2–3 mm. Pistillate scales 3.4–5 × 1.2–2.2 mm, apex aristate, apiculate, or acute. Staminate scales oblongovate, 3–5 × 1.2–2 mm, margins hyaline or, occasionally, light-brown, apex obtuse or acute. Anthers 3–3.2 mm. Perigynia 6–18 per spike, scattered to loosely overlapping, ratio of longer lateral spike length to perigynia number 1.9–3.4, ascending, finely, conspicuously (22–) 25–32-veined, elongate, (3.4–) 3.9–5.1 × 1.2–2 mm; beak straight or slightly curved, 0.6–1.7 mm. Achenes elongate-obovoid, 2.2–2.8 (–4.6) × 1–1.8 mm. 2n = 36, 40.
Phenology: Fruiting spring.
Habitat: Dry to moist ravine slopes, deciduous or mixed deciduous-evergreen forests
Elevation: 0–600 m
Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ky., La., Md., Miss., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va.
"-3.3(-5.3)timesaslongasspikes" is not declared as a valid unit of measurement for this property.