Rhizomes to 1.5 cm or shorter, knotty. Culms loosely cespitose, 15--45 cm, base sometimes swollen. Leaves: basal leaves 4--15 cm x 2--7 mm, margins pilose to sparsely hairy, apex not callous. Inflorescences: glomerules 4--15, central glomerules sessile or nearly sessile, broadly conic or globose (often loosely flowered); peduncles straight, divergent by as much as 90°, to 9 cm; proximal inflorescence bract leaflike, not longer than inflorescence; bracts and bracteoles clear, variously cut. Flowers: tepals greenish to pale or dark brown, usually with clear margins and apex, 2.8--4 mm; anthers ca. 2--5 times filament length; stigmas 2--3 times length of styles. Capsules pale to dark brown, obovoid to subglobose, usually shorter than tepals. Seeds dark brown, globose, 1.2--1.6 mm; caruncle 0.5--0.6 mm. 2n = 12. Flowering and fruiting spring--early summer. Bluffs, wooded slopes, alluvial woods, streamsides, under hardwoods and occasionally in clearings; 50--800 m; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Miss., Mo., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va. Luzula echinata has knotty rhizomes to 1.5 cm; the bases of the culms are sometimes swollen. Flowers are characterized by stigmas that exceed styles by 2--3 times.
Some of the shorter branches of the infl widely divergent; glomerules capitate to broadly ovoid; anthers mostly 0.7-1.2+ mm long and (1.5-)2.4 times as long as the filament; 2n=12; otherwise much like no. 5 [Luzula multiflora (Retz.) Lej.]. Woods, thickets, and clearings; Ga. to Miss. and Tex., n. to n. N.J., Pa., s. O., and Io. (L. campestris var. e.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.