Culms aphyllopodic, without dead leaf remains at base, 20-90 cm. Leaf blades 2-5 mm wide, margins revolute, scabrid at tip. Inflo-rescences: proximal bracts 2-7 cm, shorter than inflorescences; lateral spikes usually androg-ynous, (10-)25-50 × 3.5-6 mm, with 20-80 perigynia; terminal spikes 20-50 × 2.5-5 mm. Pistillate scales ovate, 2.4-4 × 1.3-1.8 mm, shorter and as wide as or slightly narrower than perigynia, apex obtuse to acute. Staminate scales oblong-obovate, 3.7-4.5 × 1.2-2 mm, apex obtuse. Anthers 2.6-2.9 mm. Perigynia 2.5-3.5 × 1.2-2 mm, apex rounded; beak 0.1-0.5 mm. Fruiting late spring-early summer. Bogs, swamps, wet woods, primarily on acidic substrata; 0-500 m; Ala., Conn., Del., Md., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Va. Carex barrattii is in the Center for Plant Conservation´s National Collection of Endangered Plants.
Loosely tufted on long rhizomes, 3-8 dm; main lvs 2-4 mm wide; terminal spike staminate, 3-5 cm, long-peduncled, often with a smaller one at its base; pistillate spikes 2-5, crowded to well separated, linear-cylindric, 2-4 cm, spreading or drooping, staminate at the top, the lowest with peduncles somewhat shorter than the spike, the upper with shorter peduncles or subsessile; lowest bract foliaceous to setaceous, 2-5(-10) cm; upper bracts scale-like; pistillate scales ovate, about as long as but usually narrower than the perigynia, dark brown-purple, with slender, concolorous midvein; perigynia stramineous, or darker at the summit, ovoid, 2.4-3.7 mm, obscurely trigonous, 2-ribbed and obscurely few-nerved, glabrous, very minutely beaked; achene concavely trigonous, straight-apiculate. Wet ground, especially in pine-barren swamps near the coast; Conn. to N.C.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.