Vigorously colonial by creeping rhizomes, the slender stems 4-8 dm, strongly aphyllopodic; main lvs 3-5 mm wide; staminate spikes 1-3, the terminal one usually 2-5 cm, the lateral much shorter; pistillate spike 1 and subterminal or 2-3 and ±remote, erect, short-cylindric, 1.5-2.5 cm, densely fld, sessile or nearly so; lowest bract shorter than the stem, 2-5 cm; pistillate scales lance-ovate, to as long as the perigynia, acute or acuminate, with purple sides and hyaline margins; perigynia ovoid, 2.8-4.4 mm, densely hairy, abruptly tapering into the beak; beak a third as long as the body, marked with purple on the back, hyaline-tipped, eventually split; achene concavely trigonous. Woods; s. Me. to se. Va.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.