Carex albolutescens is a perennial sedge, 30-120 cm tall, basal leaves bladeless, stems stiff, densely tufted, leaf sheaths with green veins on side opposite blade.
Leaves alternate, blades 0.2-0.3 cm wide, pale green, shorter than flowering stems.
Flowers densely crowded, male flowers at base of spikes, female flowers (perigynia) flat, to 0.4 cm long, about 0.2 cm wide, margins broadly winged, beak slender, scale below flower slightly longer than flower, narrowly egg-shaped, tip long-pointed; inflorescence spikes greenish to pale brown, 3-10, elliptic, about 1 cm long, the upper spikes crowded at top of stem, bead-like; general appearance like that of C. scoparia.
Wetland status: FACW.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Wet woods, swamps, thickets, soil pH 4.3-7.8 (USDA, NRCS 2010).