Plants with basal sheaths of previous year persistent as linear fibers. Culms to 80 cm × 4 mm, scabrous. Leaves: sheaths all with blades, fronts smooth, red spotted, indistinctly linearly veined, apex hyaline, colorless, fragile, convex, entire; ligules rounded, 5 mm, free limb to 0.5 mm; blades dark green, not epistomic, to 60 cm × 7 mm. Inflorescences densely spicate, elongated, cylindric, with 8-12 branches, 2-4 × 1.5 cm; proximal internode to 0.5 mm; proximal bracts setaceous, apparent. Scales coppery with hyaline margins. Perigynia pale brown, coppery distally, faintly 3-5-veined or veinless abaxially, veinless adaxially, to 4 × 1.7 mm, base not distended proximally, rounded; stipe to 0.2 mm; beak to 2 mm, serrulate. Achenes circular, 1.5 × 1.3 mm; stalk to 0.15 mm; persistent style base cylindric. 2n = 68. Fruiting Jul. Seasonally saturated soils in wet meadows, openings in alluvial woods, stream banks, particularly on calcareous substrates; 0-1500 m; Man., N.S., Ont., Que., Sask.; Conn., Del., D.C., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., N.J., N.Y., N.Dak., Ohio, Pa., Vt., Wis. Morphologically Carex alopecoidea is most similar to C. conjuncta; it differs in the smooth sheath fronts and the abaxial veins faint or absent.
Stems clustered, 4-8 dm, stout but soft, 2-3 mm wide when pressed, usually shorter than the lvs; main lvs 3-6 mm wide; sheaths somewhat prolonged beyond the base of the blade, not cross-corrugated; infl 2-4 cm, slender, simple or compound, the lower spikes sometimes slightly separated; scales triangular-ovate, usually shorter than the perigynia; perigynia becoming largely or wholly golden-brown, flatly planoconvex, ovate, 3.2-3.8 mm, half as wide, rounded at base, inconspicuously 2-3-nerved dorsally, nerveless ventrally, tapering into a rough beak two-thirds to nearly as long as the body. Wet meadows; Que. and Me. to Mich., Minn. and Sask., s. to N.J., Ind., and Mo.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.