Steudel, Syn. Pl. Glumac. 2: 222. 1855 (as chapmanni).
Carex fusiformis Chapman ex Dewey, Amer. J. Sci. Arts, ser. 2, 6: 244. 1848, not Nees 1834
Culms loosely tufted or solitary, ascending or lax, 10—32 cm × 0.8—1.6 mm. Leaves: basal sheaths light brown to brown; sheaths green or yellow-green, 2—26 mm; blades ascending, green or yellow-green, midrib well developed abaxially, 2 lateral veins well developed adaxially, flat, 18—44 cm × 12—14 mm, blades of owerwintering leaves smooth. Inflorescences: peduncles of proximal spike to 6 cm, longer lateral ones 4.6—14 times as long as spikes they subtend, arising in proximal 1/3 of culm, distal lateral spikes not exserted; peduncle of terminal spike 0—2.8 cm; bracts 8—21 × 1—4 mm, blade of distal lateral spike linear, narrower than spikes, widest bract blade of distalmost lateral spike 0.5—3.4 mm wide. Spikes 3(—4) per culm; lateral spikes 7—20 × 2.5—4.5 mm; terminal spike 11—35 × 1.8—3 mm. Pistillate scales 2—2.5 × 0.8—1.2 mm, apex acute or mucronate. Staminate scales 3.2—4.2 × 1—1.2 mm, margins hyaline or brown tinged, apex acute. Anthers 3.5—4 mm. Perigynia 6—18 per spike, closely to loosely overlapping, ratio of longer lateral spike length to perigynia number 0.8—2.4, aggregated, spreading, finely, conspicuously (22—)25—32-veined, narrowly elongate, 3—5.2 × 1.2—1.6 mm; beak excurved, 0.4—1.7 mm. Achenes elongate-obovoid, 2.2—3 × 1.2—1.6 mm.
Fruiting spring. Wet, sandy, acidic soils, sometimes over limestone, under deciduous or mixed deciduous-evergreen forests, hammocks; 0—50 m; Fla., Ga., N.C., S.C.
Historically, Carex chapmanii was placed in sect. Paniceae. It lacks papillae on the perigynia and abaxial leaf surfaces. Carex chapmanii and C. styloflexa may be conspecific; there is much variability in the rhizome length and density of culm tufts in both taxa. Additional research is needed to resolve the relationship between C. chapmanii and C. styloflexa.