Plants loosely cespitose, short-rhizomatous, shoots less than 2.5 cm apart. Culms 30-75 cm, smooth to finely scabrous distally. Leaves: proximal sheaths with or without blades, reddish purple tinged, 3-6.5 mm diam.; ligules 2.5-12 mm, more than 2 times longer than wide; blades of vegetative culms 12-50 cm, evergreen, those of fertile culms green, flat to revolute, 5-20 cm × 3.5-6 mm, herbaceous. Inflorescences 16-32 cm, 1-1.6 times longer than proximal bract; proximal bract 8-19 cm, sheath 1.5-5 cm, blade 7-14 cm; pistillate spikes linear or linear-oblong, 1.5-3.5 cm × 3-8 mm; lateral spikes erect or ascending on stiff peduncles. Pistillate scales purple-brown, apex obtuse or short-awned, frequently papillose. Perigynia ascending to spreading, loosely to densely arranged, greenish, 2.5-3.5 × 1.5-2.25 mm, faintly papillose; beak 0-0.7 mm, often bent. Achenes yellowish brown, 1.8-2.5 × 1.4-1.6 mm.
Fruiting early summer. Rocky woods, moist rock faces, granite balds, cliff ledges; of conservation concern; 850-1600 m; Ga., N.C., S.C.
Carex biltmoreana is a rare, southern Appalachian Mountain endemic (L. L. Gaddy 1983).