Plants with short-creeping rhizomes to 6 cm. Culms 20-70 cm, 1.2-1.8 mm wide basally, 0.4-0.7 mm wide distally. Leaves: sheaths tight, green, fronts hyaline; ligules less than 2 mm, wider than long; widest leaf blades 1.5-2.2 mm wide. Inflorescences with 3-5 spikes, 2.5-5 cm × 4-6 mm; proximal internodes more than 2 times as long as proximal spikes; proximal bracts to 5 cm; spikes with 4-9 ascending to spreading perigynia. Pistillate scales hyaline with green midvein, ovate, 1.5-2.3 × 1-1.5 mm, body 1/2-3/4 length of perigynium, apex acute to awned. Anthers 1 mm. Perigynia green, usually 7-11-veined abaxially, 3.2-4.2 × 0.7-1.3 mm, base of body spongy, thickened, longitudinally striate adaxially, spongy region 1-1.5 mm, margins serrulate distally; beak 0.7-1 mm, apical teeth 0.2-0.4 mm. Stigmas straight or slightly twisted or coiled, 0.03-0.06 mm wide. Achenes elliptic, 1.8-2.3 × 0.8-1 mm. 2n = 58. Fruiting mid-late spring. Lowland deciduous forests, usually on clay soils; 50-500 m; Ala., Ark., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., Miss., Mo., N.C., Okla., S.C., Tenn., Tex.
Much like no. 26 [Carex radiata (Wahlenb.) Small], but loosely colonial, with well developed creeping rhizomes; spikes well spaced; perigynia more ascending, 3.6-4 mm, narrow, mostly 3-5 times as long as wide; achene set ca 0.5 mm above the base of the perigynium; stigmas flexuous or recurved, not coiled. Low woods; coastal plain and interior low plateaus from S.C. and Ga. to Tex., n. to s. Ind., s. Ill., and se. Mo.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.