This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Carex pallescens L. Sp. PI. 977- 1753.
Light green, culms slender, erect, sparsely hairy, 4'-20 tall. Leaves flat, 1"-1 1/2" wide, short-pubescent, at least on the sheaths; lower bract similar to the culm-leaves, exceeding the spikes; staminate spike solitary, short-stalked; pistillate spikes 2-4, oblong, erect or somewhat spreading, short-stalked or the upper one nearly sessile, densely many-flowered, 21/2"-10" long, 2"-3 1/2" in diameter, mostly approximate; perigynia elliptic, slightly inflated, obscurely triangular, pale, 1 1/4"-1 1/2" long, 1/2" thick, obtuse, thin, faintly nerved, beakless, the orifice entire; scales ovate, membranous, acute to short-awned, a little longer or a little shorter than the perigynia; stigmas 3.
Pale green, culms slender, rather stiff, erect, 10'-20' tall, finely pubescent. Leaves 3/4'-1 1/2' wide, usually shorter than culm, rather densely short-pubescent; lower bract shorter or longer than spikes; staminate spike solitary, usually short-stalked; pistillate spikes 1-3, short-oblong, dense, 3"-8" long, about 3" thick, sessile or short-stalked, erect, clustered; perigynia obovoid, somewhat inflated and rather obscurely triangular, glabrous, 1 1/4"-1 1/2" long and slightly more than 1/2' thick, strongly many-nerved, depressed at apex and abruptly tipped by a short entire beak; scales ovate, acute to cuspidate, shorter than the perigynia; stigmas 3.
In dry soil, Minnesota to Saskatchewan, south in the Rocky Mountains to Colorado. Reported from New York and Pennsylvania. June-July.
Glabrous, pale green and glaucous, culms slender, erect, smooth or roughish above, 1°-2° tall, the root-stocks long and stout. Leaves usually shorter than the culm, 1 1/4"-2 1/2" wide, the sheaths scabrous; lower bract similar to the leaves, but narrower; staminate spikes mostly 1'-1 1/2' long, stalked; pistillate spikes 2 or 3, ascending or at length drooping, slender-stalked, linear-cylindric, 1-2' long, 3"-4" thick, densely many-flowered, commonly staminate at the summit; perigynia brown, ellipsoid, faintly few-nerved, or nerveless, minutely granulate or papillose, 1 1/2" long, abruptly minutely beaked, the orifice entire; scales ovate or lanceolate, brown with a green midvein, obtusish, acute or acuminate, about as long as the perigynia; stigmas 3.
In meadows. Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario. Naturalized from Europe. Carnation-grass. Gilliflower-grass. Pink-grass. June-Aug.