Plants without conspicuous rhizomes. Culms 20-90 cm, (1.5-) 1.6-2.2 mm wide basally, 0.5-0.9 mm wide distally. Leaves: sheaths tight, green, fronts hyaline; ligules less than 2 mm, wider than long; widest leaf blades 1.8-2.6 mm wide. Inflorescences 2-7 cm × 5-8 mm; proximal internodes more than 2 times as long as proximal spikes; proximal bracts to 6(-10) cm; spikes with 7-14 spreading perigynia; spikes 4-8. Pistillate scales hyaline with green midvein, ovate to circular-ovate, 1.4-2.1 × 1-1.8 mm, body 1/2 length of perigynium, apex obtuse, acute, or awned. Anthers 0.8-1.3 mm. Perigynia green, faces not veined, 2.6-4(-4.2) × 1.1-1.8 mm, base of body spongy, thickened, longitudinally striate adaxially, spongy region 0.8-1.3 mm, margins serrulate distally; beak 0.6-1.2 mm, apical teeth 0.1-0.5 mm. Stigmas coiled or twisted, 0.07-0.1 mm wide. Achenes ovate to obovate, 1.6-2.2 × 1.1-1.6 mm. 2n = 52. Fruiting mid-late spring. Dry to mesic deciduous or mixed forests; 50-1000 m; Man., N.B., N.S., Ont., Que.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Very common in dry and low woods of all types. Often in somewhat richer soils than C. rosea.
Much like nos. 26 [Carex radiata (Wahlenb.) Small] and 27 [Carex appalachica J. M. Webber & P. W. Ball], but more robust; fertile stems erect, 1.5-2.2 mm thick at base; widest lvs 1.8-2.6 mm wide; perigynia radiating in all directions, 2.6-4.2 mm, the base cuneate to rounded; achene set low in the perigynium, as in no. 27 [Carex appalachica J. M. Webber & P. W. Ball]; stigmas a little stouter, 0.07-0.1 mm wide, once or twice coiled; 2n=52. Mostly in habitats a little drier than those of no. 26, a littler moister than those of no. 27; N.S. and s. Que. to Minn. and e. Nebr., s. to Ga., Tenn., and Ark. (C. convoluta)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.