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..
Glabrous, culms very slender, slightly scabrous above, erect, or spreading, 1°-2° high. Leaves 1"-2" wide, mostly erect and somewhat rigid, the basal shorter than the culm; bracts similar to the upper leaves, erect, not over 1" wide, overtopping the spikes; staminate spike usually peduncled, sometimes sessile; pistillate spikes 2-4, erect, 1/2' - l' long, less than 2" thick, loosely several-flowered, the upper sessile, the lower often from lower axils on long filiform stalks; perigynia oblong or obo-void, scarcely turgid, firm, pointed but beakless, 3-angled, many-striate, more or less 2-ranked, 2" long, about 1" thick, longer or lower shorter than the ovate, scarious-margined, awned spreading scales; stigmas 3.
In dry soil, New York to Iowa and Missouri, south to Florida and Texas. Intergrades with the next. April-June.
Glabrous, culms stoutish, erect or ascending, smooth or nearly so, 1°-2 1/2° high. Leaves light green, sometimes slightly glaucous, flat, usually soft and spreading, 2"-3 1/2" wide, the basai shorter than or exceeding the culm; bracts similar to the leaves, spreading, much overtopping the spikes; staminate spike solitary, sessile, or short-peduncled; pistillate spikes 3-5, dense, oblong, 5-15-flowered, 4"-12" long, 2"-3 1/2" thick, the upper usually sessile and close together, the lower slender-stalked and distant, but not from lower axils; perigynia oblong, about 2.1/2" long, 1" thick, nearly terete, turgid, subacute but beakless, finely many-striate, longer or the lower shorter than the ovate, scarious-margined, cuspidate or awned scales; stigmas 3.
Carex grisea var. mutica Carey, in A. Gray, Man. 552. 1848. Not C. mutica R. Br. 1823.
Similar in habit to Carex grisea, but pale and usually very glaucous all over, culms smooth, erect or spreading, 4-24 high. Leaves 2"-$" wide, the basal shorter or longer than the culm; bracts foliaceous, overtopping the spikes; staminate spike sessile or nearly so; pistillate spikes 3-5, 5"-15" long, 2 1/2" thick, erect, densely 10-45-flowered, widely separate, the lower slender-stalked; perigynia oblong, many-striate, 1 1/2"-2" long, sub-acute, beakless, mostly nearly twice as long as the ovate scarious-margined, acute, cuspidate or short-awned scales; stigmas 3.