Plants densely cespitose. Culms (9–)16–60 cm. Leaves: sheath adaxially white-hyaline, summits usually U-shaped, rarely prolonged to 3 mm beyond collar; distal ligules 0.5–2.5(–3) mm; blades 2–6 per fertile culm, (4–)8–18 cm × (1.7–)2–3.6(–4) mm. Inflorescences stiffly erect, dense, brown or dark brown, 0.9–2.1 cm × 10–15(–18.5) mm; proximal internode 1.5–3.7(–4.8) mm; 2d internode 1–3 mm; proximal bracts scalelike or bristlelike, shorter than inflorescences. Spikes (3–)5–9, densely aggregated, ± individually indistinct, ovoid to broadly ovoid, 5.5–10.5 × 4–7 mm, base rounded to acute or tapered, apex truncate to tapered. Pistillate scales gold to brown, often reddish, sometimes with whitish or gold midstripe, ovate to broadly ovate, 2.7–3.5(–4) mm, shorter or longer and usually narrower than perigynia, margin, white-hyaline usually conspicuous, 0.03–0.25 mm wide, apex usually obtuse. Perigynia appressed-ascending to ascending-spreading, straw colored, gold, red-brown, or coppery, conspicuously 0–7(–11)-veined abaxially, conspicuously 0–3-veined adaxially, narrowly to broadly ovate, plano-convex to biconvex, occasionally ± flat around achene, 3.5–4.5 × (1.1–)1.3–2 mm, 0.4–0.5 mm thick, margin flat, including wing 0.2–0.5 mm wide, darker than perigynium body, ciliate-serrulate at least on distal body, pithlike tissue usually present in proximal perigynium walls in U-shape around achene, glossy metallic sheen; beak white, golden brown, red-brown, brown, or dark brown, usually white-hyaline at tip, cylindric, unwinged, ± entire for (0.4–)0.5–0.6(–0.9) mm, abaxial suture usually white, conspicuous, distance from beak tip to achene (1.2–)1.6–2.4 mm. Achenes usually elliptic, (1.2–)1.4–1.9 × 0.85–1.1 mm, 0.35–0.5 mm thick. 2n = 86.
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