Plants colonial; rhizomes long-creeping. Culms central, slender, trigonous, 40-90 cm, smooth, with marcescent remains of previous year´s leaves at base. Leaves: basal sheaths brownish and tattered on fertile culms, reddish purple on youngest culms, apex glabrous; ligules 1.8-12.5 mm; blades green, M-shaped, often ± septate-nodulose, 2.6-5(-6) mm wide, smooth abaxially, glabrous. Inflorescences 9-35(-45) cm; peduncle of terminal spike (2-)3.5-15 cm; rachis beyond the proximal pistillate spikes sharp-angled, finely scabrous; proximal 1-2 spikes pistillate, not or barely overlapping, ascending; distal spikes erect; terminal 1-3 spikes staminate. Pistillate scales lanceolate to ovate, acute to acuminate, sometimes ± smooth-awned to 1.1 mm, glabrous. Perigynia ascending, 14-22-veined, ovoid, 3.9-7 × 2-3.3 mm, glabrous or densely pubescent; beak 0.5-1.3 mm, bidentulate, teeth straight, 0.1-0.6 mm. Fruiting Apr-Jul. Open swamps, sedge meadows, bogs, boggy depressions, in acidic, often peaty soils; 0-100 m; Ala., Del., Fla., Ga., Md., Mass., Miss., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., S.C., Va. Southward from New Jersey, plants of Carex striata often have increasingly pubescent perigynia; northern, glabrous plants of that cline have been called C. striata var. brevis (A. A. Reznicek and P. M. Catling 1986b). Exceptionally robust plants of Carex striata with glabrous perigynia may key to C. hyalinolepis, from which they can be distinguished by their broadly ovoid perigynia, smooth-margined pistillate scales, and green leaves.
Vigorously colonial by creeping rhizomes, strongly aphyllopodic, 4-12 dm; main lvs 2-5 mm wide; staminate spikes 1 or 2, the terminal one 3-5 cm; pistillate spikes 1 or 2, densely fld, cylindric, erect, 2-4 cm, sessile or nearly so; lowest bract elongate, surpassing the stem; pistillate scales ovate, half to nearly as long as the perigynia, with red-purple sides and hyaline margins, acute to acuminate; perigynia coriaceous, ovoid, (4-)4.5-6.5 mm, conspicuously many-nerved (the nerves impressed), acuminately tapering into a bidentate beak a fourth as long as the body; achene concavely trigonous. Sandy swamps on the coastal plain; se. Mass. to Fla. Plants of our range have glabrous perigynia and represent the var. brevis L. H. Bailey. The rather ill-defined var. striata, with minutely hairy perigynia, is more southern. (C. walteriana)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.