Stems 3-10 dm, arising singly or few together from long creeping rhizomes, strongly aphyllopodic, not surrounded by old sheaths from previous years (but these often persistent separately from the new stems); lvs elongate, 2-4 mm wide; spikes mostly 2-5, approximate or somewhat remote, erect or closely ascending, sessile or (especially the lower) with ±well developed peduncle, the terminal one gynaecandrous, 1-3 cm, the lateral ones pistillate, about as long or somewhat shorter; bract subtending the lowest spike sheathless or nearly so, shorter to longer than the infl; pistillate scales lanceolate to lance-ovate, brown to purplish-black with a usually paler midrib, surpassing the perigynia, tapering to an awn-tip 0.5-3 mm; perigynia 2.7-4.3 mm, beakless or very shortly beaked, rather narrowly elliptic to elliptic-obovate or elliptic-ovate, firm-walled, not strongly papillate, light gray-green, densely papillate, 2-ribbed and with 6-8 inconspicuous or obscure nerves on each face; achene trigonous, somewhat narrower and much shorter than the perigynial cavity. 2n=74, ca 100, 106. Peat-bogs, marshes, wet meadows, and other wet places; circumboreal, s. to N.C., Ky., Ark., and Calif.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
Rather common among the dunes; infrequent elsewhere in northern Indiana. Among the dunes it is found in swales and on interdunal flats; elsewhere in marshes and low sandy or marly openings. In southern Indiana it occurs in swampy woods.