Culms 40-135 cm, scabrous. Leaf blades 14-50 cm × 3.3-10.3 mm. Inflorescences: peduncle of pistillate spike 1.4-6.9 cm; proximal bract 3.7-10.9 mm wide; pistillate spikes 2-5; the proximal 3.5-11.5 cm × 4.2-6.8 mm. Pistillate scales (including awn) 3.4-11.2 mm. Perigynia divergent to ascending, ellipsoid to obovoid, 1.8-3.7 × 1.2-2.5 mm, apex rounded or obtuse; beak 0.1-0.3 mm. Achenes variously constricted. 2n = 66, 68.
Carex crinita var. crinita is sympatric and often syntopic with C. gynandra over a significant portion of its distribution; hybridization between the two taxa has been observed. Carex crinita var. paleacea (Wahlenberg) Dewey is a misapplication of the epithet to long-awned extremes of C. crinita var. crinita.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Common in swampy woods and thickets; frequent in swales, sloughs, ditches, and swamps.