Description from Flora of China
Carex digitata Linnaeus subsp. quadriflora Kükenthal in Engler, Pflanzenr. 38(IV. 20): 497. 1909; C. digitata var. pallida Meinshausen.
Rhizome short, obliquely ascending. Culms densely tufted, lateral, 15-30 cm tall, not exceeding 1 mm thick, triquetrous, scabrous at upper part, purple-red sheathed at base. Leaves shorter than culm, nearly equaling culm after fruiting, blades 2-4 mm wide, soft, flat, smooth, purple-red and persistent sheathed. Involucral bracts red-brown, spathelike, membranous on margins, truncate at apex, involucral bract blade awn-shaped. Spikes 2 or 3, remote; terminal spike male, shorter than adjacent female spike, linear, 4.5-10 mm, 1-2 mm thick; lateral spikes 1 or 2, female, linear, 1-1.5 cm, 2-2.5 mm thick, loosely 2-4(-6)-flowered; peduncles filiform, 1-3 cm, soft; rachis tortuous. Female glumes ferruginous laterally, green at middle, obovate-oblong, ca. 3 mm, 1-veined, margins broadly white hyaline, apex rounded, mucronate. Utricles yellowish green, longer than glumes, obovate, obtusely trigonous, subplano-convex, 4-5 mm, loosely pubescent, 2-veined laterally, not distinctly thinly veined, base abruptly contracted into a short stipe, apex rounded and shortly beaked, beak ferruginous, truncate at orifice. Nutlets pale ferruginous at maturity, obovate, trigonous, 3.5-4 mm, base contracted into a short stipe, apex abruptly contracted into a short beak; style short, base not thickened; stigmas 3. Fl. and fr. May-Jun.
Xylosma or Pinus forests; 800-1400 m. Hebei, Heilongjiang, Liaoning [Korea, Russia (Far East)].