Plants without conspicuous rhizomes. Culms 15-60 cm, 1.4-2 mm wide basally, 0.7-0.9 mm wide distally. Leaves: sheaths tight, green, fronts hyaline; ligules to 1.5 mm, wider than long; widest leaf blades 1-2.5 mm wide. Inflorescences with 3-6 spikes, 1.5-4 cm × 7-12 mm; proximal internodes 1-1.5 times as long as proximal spikes; proximal bracts 6-25 cm, at least 2 times as long as inflorescences; spikes with 8-20 spreading perigynia. Pistillate scales hyaline with green, 3-veined center, ovate, 2-3.5 × 1.2-2.4 mm, body 2/3 to almost length of perigynium, distinctly narrower, apex acuminate to awned. Anthers 1.3-1.8 mm. Perigynia pale green, veinless or indistinctly veined abaxially, 3.3-4 × 2.3-3 mm, base of body somewhat spongy, thickened, margins serrulate distally; beak 0.8-1.2 mm, apical teeth 0.3-0.7 mm. Achenes suborbiculate, 1.5-2 × 1.5-1.8 mm. Fruiting late spring. Moist prairies, forest openings, roadside ditches; 100-500 m; Ark., Ill., Kans., Mo., Okla., Tex.