Carex communis perennial, 20-50 cm, forming tussocks, flowering stems smooth, purplish at base, sharply 3-angled, equal to or longer than leaves.
Leaves 0.3-0.6 cm wide. Apparently much wider than inflorescence stems.
Flowers dry, tiny, monoecious, male spike at top of stem, 0.4-1.8 cm long, female spikes 2-3 almost stalkless, 0.5-1 cm long, mostly crowded under male spike, bracts green, with membranous basal lobes, perigynia scales reddish-purple with green center, perigynia 3-10, 0.3-0.4 cm, bode round on a very short, spongy stalk, 2-keeled, finely hairy, tip tapered to a slender beak, achene bluntly 3-sided. Attractive to and dispersed by ants (Handel 1978).
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Notes: See Genus Carex also.