Flora of California 1: 258, fig. 45. 1921.
Rhizomes horizontal, stout. Culms 15–48 cm. Leaves: basal leaf sheaths bluish green; basal leaves bluish green, abruptly tapered, less than 19 cm × 3–5 mm, apex long. Inflorescences with glomerules crowded at ends of uneven peduncles; glomerules each with 3–12 flowers, central glomerules sessile or nearly sessile; peduncles arching in all directions; proximal inflorescence bract inconspicuous, 2–3 cm; bracteoles clear, margins ciliate. Flowers: tepals pale to dark brown (apex acute), 1.5–2 mm, apex acute; anthers ± equaling filament length. Capsules pale to dark brown-purple, shorter than tepals; (beak short). Seeds brown, oblong-ovoid, 1.1–1.2 mm; caruncle absent. 2n = 24.
Phenology: Flowering and fruiting summer.
Habitat: Alpine to subalpine moist or wet places
Elevation: 2000–3500 m
Luzula subcongesta has bluish green basal leaves, tapered abruptly to the long apex.