Stolons to 5 cm or absent. Culms loosely cespitose, (20–)30–100 cm, base often reddish, often distinctly so at proximal internodes. Leaves: sheath throat with long, soft hairs; basal leaf blade 12–17 cm × 5–10 mm, mostly glabrous; cauline leaves 3–6, dull yellowish or bluish to gray-green to shiny, bright green, 7–9 cm × 3–5 mm, apex acute to acuminate. Inflorescences anthelate, few-to-many flowered, 4–20 × 4–12 cm; major branches spreading less than 90°, lax, often arching; proximal inflorescence bract inconspicuous to leaflike, to 5(–8) cm; bract margins entire to lacerate; bracteoles clear or brown, margins entire to lacerate. Flowers (1–)2–4, crowded or open; tepals pale brown to brown, broadly lanceolate, 1.8–2.5 mm, apex acute, not reflexed; anthers equaling to shorter than filaments; stigmas well exceeding style. Capsules straw-colored to dark brown to blackish, spheric, less than 2.5 mm, equal to generally longer than tepals; beak absent. Seeds brown to brownish red or purple, ellipsoid, 1.1–1.5 mm. 2n = 24.
Phenology: Flowering and fruiting spring–late summer.
Habitat: Meadows in temperate to subalpine boreal forests, wet grasslands and tundra, willow copses, herb slopes
Elevation: 0–3300 m.
Greenland, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.W.T., N.S., Nunavut, Ont., Que., Sask., Yukon, Alaska, Ariz., Calif., Colo., Idaho, Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., Mont., Nev., N.H., N.Mex., N.Y., Oreg., S.Dak., Utah, Vt., Wash., Wis., Wyo., Eurasia.
The base of the culm of Luzula parviflora is often reddish and often distinctly so at the proximal internodes.