Culms stout, pubescent or ciliate. Leaves 3.5-7 mm wide, pubescent or ciliate. Bracts densely ciliate. Scales pubescent; pistillate scales usually with conspicuous midrib projecting as keel toward base. Tubercles usually strongly 2-lobed. Achenes 2.6-3.6 × 2-2.6 mm Fruiting spring-fall. Wet to dry sandy soil of thickets, pinelands, and disturbed areas; 0-300 m; Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C., S.C., Tex., Va.; West Indies (Cuba). Scleria ciliata var. elliottii is practically restricted to the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains.