Engelm., Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis 2: 459 (1868)
T: California, Mariposa, Clark’s Meadow near Big Tree Grove, H.N.Bolander 6032 [G.Engelmann, Herb. Junc. Bor.-Amer. Norm.] 52; syn: MO, NY, PR.
Perennials, 30–75 cm tall, rhizomatous, forming loose stands. Rhizome short-creeping to long-creeping, 2–3 mm in diam., pale brown, not swollen. Stem usually densely papillose-rugulose, rarely ±smooth. Cataphylls 1–2, pink to stramineous, acute; basal leaves 1–2, 20–30 cm long. Cauline leaves 1–2, 20–30 cm long, terete, perfectly septate (septa visible externally, prominent in dry condition), rugulose or rarely smooth, unitubular; tip acuminate; sheaths broadly bordered; auricles 1–4.9 mm long, rounded, membranous. Lower bract herbaceous, stramineous, lanceolate to linear, 1.2–3.2 cm long, shorter than the inflorescence, erect; other bracts stramineous, lanceolate, 4–6 mm long. Inflorescence diffuse, decompound, of 25–66 heads, usually 7–15 cm long, with main branches erect to erecto-patent and other branches often ±patent; heads semiglobose to obovoid, 6–10-flowered, 5–10 mm in diam. Tepals subequal, lanceolate, stramineous to brown, acuminate; outer tepals carinate, with prominent midrib, (2–) 2.5–3.4 mm long, stramineous-brown to castaneous, acuminate, with margins broad and membranous; inner tepals often slightly longer, flat, subacute to mucronate, (2–) 2.6–3.6 mm long, distally with broad membranous margins. Stamens 6, not exserted; anthers 0.6–1.0 mm long, c. 1.5 times as long as 0.5–0.7 mm filaments; style 0.5–0.6 mm long; stigmas 0.6–1.1 mm long. Capsules unilocular, tapering to a subulate tip from narrowly ovoid base, trigonous, (2.4–) 3–3.9 mm long, castaneous-brown, ±exceeding perianth. Seeds ellipsoid-ovoid, apiculate, 0.3–0.5 × 0.2–0.3 mm, pale brown, distinctly reticulate; appendages absent. 2n = 40, fide N.A.Harriman & D.Redmond, Rhodora 78: 735 (1976).