Culms 4-37 cm; cataphylls with concave cells. Leaves: basal sheaths golden brown to dark brown; blades green, eceeding culms, 0.8-4.8 mm wide, herbaceous, margins green, scabrous. Lateral spikes 1-5, basal, on spreading to nodding peduncles. Terminal spikes with staminate portion 3-13 flowered, (4.2-)5.8 14.5 × 0.4 0.8 mm; pistillate portion 1 4-flowered. Pistillate scales green, margins connate, hyaline, white, occasionally tinged reddish brown; proximal scales with margins 1.4-3 mm, apex long-acuminate; distal scales with margins 0.4-0.8 mm wide, apex acuminate, awnless. Staminate scales ovate, 1.1-1.8(-2.1) × 1.2-1.5 mm, 0.12-0.25(-0.75) length of staminate portion of terminal spike, margins hyaline, white, often with reddish brown subapical band, apex truncate or broadly obtuse. Anthers 0.6-1.6 mm. Perigynia green to bronze, globose to ellipsoid, 4.4-7.2 × 1.9-2.4 mm, tightly enveloping achenes, apex abruptly tapering; beak 1.6-3.8 mm, scabrous. Stigmas filiform, flexuous, strongly papillose. Achenes dark brown, globose to ellipsoid, 2-2.6 × 1.7-2.4 mm. 2n = 66, 70. Fruiting spring-summer (early May-mid Jul). Mesic, rich ravines, slopes, and flood plains in hardwood forests, on lime-rich substrates; 100-400 m; Ont.; Ala., Ark., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., Md., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va., Wis.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Very common throughout Indiana except in the northwestern counties from which we have no records. It is a plant of rich woods, occurring in dry neutral soil, especially on the slopes of deep ravines. It is most frequently associated with either Carex hitchcockiana or C. oligocarpa or both.