Plants densely to loosely cespitose; rhizome internodes 1.2-2 mm thick. Culms dark purple-red to (3.4-)4-7.3 cm high at base, 8-65(-85) cm. Leaves: sheaths glabrous; blades green, widest blades 2.4-4(-5.3) mm wide, smooth abaxially. Inflorescences 0.094-0.94 of culm height; peduncles of lateral spikes smooth or barely scaberulous; peduncles of terminal spikes 1.6-22(-51) mm, usually barely exceeding lateral spikes; proximal bract sheaths loose, glabrous abaxially, sheath front slightly concave to slightly convex, elongated 0.1-0.6(-1.1) mm beyond apex; ligules 0.9-3.9(-6.6) mm; distal bract slightly exceeding or rarely much exceeding terminal spike. Spikes (3-)4-5(-6), distal 2-4 overlapping; lateral spikes pistillate or rarely androgynous, with 3-19 perigynia, 5-26 × 4.6-9.2 mm, ratio of spike length (in mm) to flower number = 1.4-2.2; terminal spikes 7-37(-46) × 1-2.9 mm. Pistillate scales 2.1-5.3 × 1.2-2.4 mm, margins whitish, usually with red-brown speckles, entire, apex with awn 0.2-3.3 mm, rarely awnless. Staminate scales 3.3-4.8 × 1.1-1.6 mm. Anthers 2-2.8 mm. Perigynia spirally imbricate, 52-64-veined, unwrinkled to wrinkled, narrowly ellipsoid to obovoid, obtusely triangular in cross section, (4-) 4.3-5(-5.6) × 1.5-1.9(-2.1) mm, 2.4-2.9(-3.2) times as long as wide, lustrous, base very gradually tapered, apex gradually tapered; beak absent or straight, 0-0.2 mm. Achenes broadly obovoid to obovoid, (3-)3.1-3.5(-3.7) × 1.5-1.8 mm, loosely enveloped by perigynia; stipe straight, 0.6-0.8(-0.9) mm; beak usually straight, occasionally bent 10-30°, 0.3-0.6 mm. Fruiting spring. Wet hammocks, swamps, flood plains dominated by deciduous trees, usually in calcareous or sandy mucks; 0-100 m; Ala., Fla., Ga., N.C., S.C. Carex godfreyi is infrequent and local, even in Florida, where most populations occur. Frequent associates of C. godfreyi are C. bromoides, C. gholsonii, and C. leptalea.