Plants cespitose. Culms acutely angled, 75-150 cm, scabrous. Leaves: basal sheaths red-brown; sheaths of proximal leaves bladeless, scabrous, fronts with brown spots, prominently ladder-fibrillose, apex U-shaped; blades 10-15 mm wide. Proximal bract longer than inflorescence, 10-12 mm wide. Spikes erect; staminate 3-4; pistillate 3-5; the proximal pistillate spike 4-13 cm × 5-7 mm, base attenuate. Pistillate scales red-brown, equaling perigynia, apex acute, awnless. Perigynia ascending, pale brown with red-brown spots throughout, 5-7-veined on each face, somewhat flattened, loosely enclosing achenes, ellipsoid, 3.2-3.5 × 2 mm, dull, apex obtuse or acute, papillose; beak 0.2-0.3 mm. Achenes not constricted, dull. Fruiting Jun. Wet meadows along streams; 0-2500 m; Calif. Carex schottii may be a member of the C. stricta subgroup; it requires additional study. The bladeless, scabrous, ladder-fibrillose sheaths of proximal leaves and the hypostomic leaves indicate a relationship with the group, but the elongate inflorescence bract, 3-4 staminate spikes, and the broad leaves are unique within the group.