Plants cespitose; rhizomes short. Culms trigonous in cross section, 25-75 cm, scabrous distally. Leaves: basal sheaths reddish purple; ligules wider than long; blades dark green, flat to W-shaped, widest leaves 1.5-4.5 mm wide, glabrous. Inflorescences 1.7-10(-15.5) cm; proximal bract 7-24 cm, much exceeding inflorescence; proximal 1-3 spikes pistillate erect, ca. 3-20-flowered, globose or short-ovoid; terminal 1(-2) spikes staminate. Pistillate scales ovate, 2.8-4.2 × 2-2.6 mm, shorter than perigynia, margins entire, apex obtuse to acute, awnless. Perigynia ascending to spreading, the proximal reflexed, often green or straw colored, strongly 7-11-veined, veins running into beak, narrowly ovate, 5.6-8.8 × 1.6-2.7 mm, apex tapered; beak 1.4-3(-4.5) mm, bidentulate, smooth, teeth straight, 0.3-1 mm. Stigmas 3. Achenes brown, symmetric, not indented, trigonous, smooth. Fruiting Apr-May. Acidic soil in swamp forests and forest openings, open seeps, sandy and peaty pond shores, uncommon and local; 0-200 m; Ala., Fla., Ga., N.C., S. C.